I cleaned out our toaster over the weekend & noticed that the knobs are broken off, the base comes off of the body and there are a few exposed electrical wires. A day later, my husband suggested that I buy a new toaster. I explained that I cleaned it out over the weekend and it should be good to go, knobs being nothing more than convenient accessories. He smirked and said, “Sarah, the base is separating from the toaster & it could be a fire hazard.”
Like my worn out toaster, sometimes we can get worn down from life and grow comfortable being broken or dysfunctional. But genuine love will step into that quagmire and speak truth, redemption, hope, transformation and life. Let’s be available to speak gentle and loving words of truth and redemption. And let’s be open to receiving truth and life with genuine love!
In the last few weeks, I’ve learned of various people who have committed suicide and it’s heart wrenching. A few of these individuals have been pastors, which hits even closer to home considering that I’m a pastor’s kid, I’m married to a pastor and I am a pastor. These events have also made me reflect on various people over the years who have committed suicide.
As much as I want to be articulate in this post, I feel so deeply about this subject that I can’t seem to get my words or thoughts into some semblance of order or cohesive progression. So maybe I’ll just free flow with this post and pray that it’s helpful to you, somehow.
More than anything, I hope that you will be gentle, tender and kind with others and yourself, regardless of any external veneer. When we are in a car and see a handicapped license plate, sticker or a “baby on board” sign, we will often give that person a little extra consideration, grace and space because we know there’s a vulnerable / fragile person inside that vehicle.
May we also have the same mindset with the people in our lives, appreciating that each person with whom we interact, has their own internal struggles regardless of what the exterior looks like or how they behave. Let’s be purposeful to:
My three teenage kids have learning curves with lots of stuff, as do I.And part of what means to be human is learning. I think that it’s good to always be learning because this helps us to continually grow. So here are some helpful ideas for daily learning:
No shame – don’t belittle yourself or others for what is not known or the lack of proficiency.
Celebrate progress – don’t let “perfect” sabotage progress.
Learning differences – everyone learns in unique ways.
Committed to learn – may there never be a day when we don’t learn
Be gentle – we learn better with grace rather than harsh 🙂
Celebrate!!!! No puking & no migraines – YAHOOO!! I’m starting to get back into working out & in typical Sarah fashion, I want to go from 0-Mach 3 in a split nanosecond. This strategy has backfired on me in the past & resulted in some less than desirable outcomes. So on this go around, I’m being more patient & gentle with myself & voila, no migraines or puking!
I’m taking this lesson to heart for other areas of my life as well – less harsh, rigid & impatient with my family, work, friends, decisions, responsibilities, etc.
Maybe when we are gentle with ourselves, we let God’s love massage it’s way into our hearts with healthy transformation, at God’s pace 🙂
Last week, I returned from an extremely compressed trip to Cambodia with Saving Moses and it’s been an interesting return. I thought that because the trip was so short (I was in country for like 48 hours) that I’d have a relatively easy re-entry into my regular home routine (sleep, etc). Not so much. My sleep has been really messed up, my routines have been whacked out & my emotions have been pretty messy. All this can get me even more wound up & stressed out – making things even more intense.
But alas, I find that God is an ever present help and is eager to carry me rather than add on more pressures and burdens. Sometimes we need to be gentle with ourselves and always let God help us in our weaknesses, humanity & struggles 🙂
I find myself in some interesting positions from time to time in various relationships. Sometimes I can get frustrated & exasperated with different people because of some struggles with communication – and communication can be a really tricky topic. I have no doubt as well that I can also be frustrating & exasperating to people is well.
With that all being said, lets be mindful to go the extra mile in our relationships with patience, forgiveness, grace, gentleness & tender words & actions. I say this because I regularly find myself as the recipient of Gods abundant grace, gentleness & forgiveness – the extra mile 🙂
Here’s a quickie thought about our relationships – be gentle. I’m reminded to be gentle on many occasions – most frequently when someone says something to me that is sharp or insensitive. When this happens, I find that it’s most helpful to give others the benefit of the doubt & not automatically assume that they’re trying to hurt me or have malicious intents. I honestly think that if others understood some of our sensitivities, they probably wouldn’t say some of the things that we find to be hurtful. So with this in mind, I want to be a gentle person & tread lightly. I figure that if I’ll be gentle, others won’t find the need to forgive me as frequently and perhaps this is a practical way to express Jesus’ love.
I’m also reminded that Jesus wants me to be gentle with myself – to intentionally lose the lists of failures, shame & shortcomings, since these items have already received His forgiveness. I can also be gentle with myself by being less impatient with my maturation.
In Philippians 4:4-5, Paul tells us 2x to rejoice in the Lord (its an imperative – command). Paul tells us to rejoice without exceptions, buts or excuses. Now for us ladies, that can be a tall order, depending on the hormonal levels on any given day. Hmmmmmm. But Paul doesn’t give us, either men or women, any wiggle room. We’re supposed to rejoice, end of the story, full stop.
Next he commands us to let our gentleness be evident to everyone. The word Paul uses in the greek doesn’t so much imply a character trait of gentleness but rather the way in which we treat others – not being harsh, mean, demanding, etc. Now you probably can do this easily, but i wasnt’ exactly “gentle” when the guy at the airport charged me almost triple for some espresso shots – grrrrrrrrrrr.
So, how on earth, given the humanity that tires us, are we supposed to rejoice always & let everyone see our gentleness???? I think Paul gives us the answer in the very next phrase – Jesus is near. Can I just say that whenever i get to talk w someone about Jesus (whether they’re a Jesus fan or not), i just get really amped up. Furthermore, it makes me “rejoice” when i think that Jesus is near me & He actually likes to be near me. i don’t even like being w me that much, but He does & that causes me to rejoice. Furthermore, when i think that Jesus is near me as i interact w others, i find myself wanting to tone down some volatility & i also find myself giving more grace, being keenly aware of the ongoing grace tsunami in which i live & breath. So, dear friend, Jesus is near – be joyful & gentle.