Cut Yourself Some Slack…

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TournamentThis past weekend was a doozy!  To sum it up quickly… two cities… ten baseball games… two championships!  It was craziness, but good craziness.

On Sunday, I was talking to a dad from my older son’s team.  We were talking about the game… the championship game and it was getting intense.  Anyway, he quietly says “I want you to know that I’m proud of you.”  He went on talking about how I’ve handled everything while my husband has been away.

In this moment, my brain split two ways…

#1 most men don’t say things like that out loud. It really touched me that he actually said it… and it was sincere.  Encouragement seems to come in moments when I need it most.

#2 I immediately, interrupted his praise, with “thank you, but…” I rattled on about how I don’t do “this” very well.  Things aren’t as easy as it may look to some.

Monday morning, I talked with a dear friend about what fantastic mothers we are.  [sarcasm]  We shared our lack of patience, our children’s bad behavior, and our direct contributions as mothers to our children’s misbehavior.  It’s hard realizing that some things my boys do that drive me insane are things that I’ve taught them.  Everyday I feel like a failure.  Everyday is harder that the last.  Everyday just keeps flying by.

I was looking at Facebook Monday night.  A friend had posted a video.  I clicked on it only to realize that God had put it in my path that day for a reason.  (Click the link to view.)

So, I’m going to try to give myself a little more slack.  I realize that I am not perfect, but I’m going to try to focus on the good instead of the bad.  It might be hard because some days… well… you get my drift.  But, maybe I can find a moment when I did something good and realize that I am doing “this” ok.

Maybe you can cut yourself some slack, too…

“God is our refuge and strength, and ever-present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1

 

 

Did You Change?…

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CatterpillarThis is a gross-looking caterpillar.  I was searching the internet for pictures for this post.  There are lots of hideous caterpillars out there!  This particular caterpillar changes into the bluest butterfly that I’ve ever seen.  And, its wing span reaches about 8 inches across.  That’s a vast difference from whence it came.

The Bible teaches us that once we accept Christ, we become new.  I love the symbol of the butterfly.  More than likely if you receive a note card from me, it will have a butterfly on it.

I was raised in the church.  I didn’t have a candy-coated childhood, but it was good.  I was baptized at the age of twelve.  I remember being twelve, watching all of my church friends go forward.  I literally felt like the older generation would stare at me as each friend walked up to accept Christ questioning (in their mind) why I wasn’t following suit.  So, I did.  I knew all of the Biblical facts… I knew the right answers.

I went through my teen years participating in youth events, being at church when the doors were open, and being on fire for Christ.  Then… well, life hit me.

My early twenties were a series of bad events and bad choices.  Some things just happened to me, some things I chose, and some just happened because of my choices.  But, as a whole, none of it was good.  None of it was leading me down a path of righteousness.  Without going into great detail, I will just say, if you can imagine it, I did it.  Hopefully, you don’t have too vivid of an imagination! HA!

I say this because today I am not that person.  While I can say that knew all the right answers, I can’t say that I truly accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior at the age of twelve.  I’m not sure that I had the capacity to make that decision then.  I did make it, for sure, in my early thirties.  I decided to give my life to Christ and experienced heart-change.

Now, I am FAR from perfect and I make mistakes every day.  But, I can tell you with certainty that I am not the person that I was, nor will I be again.  I try to live biblical principles and teach those to my children.  I hope… no, I know that if I see someone now that knew me then, they would see a difference.

Christ changes you…

My point here (yes, I have one), is how can you accept Christ and not be changed?  How can you receive the gift of eternal life and still walk the same road that you were on?  How can you take the sacrifice of Christ dying a horrible death on a cross, for you, and still make poor life decisions?  How can you…?

My answer is, you can’t.  If you have truly accepted Christ there is no way that you can keep making the same bad decisions… keep living the same sinful life.  I’m not saying that it’s easy and it’s not necessarily instant, but there’s change.  Sin should bother you.  Does it?

If you didn’t experience change when you accepted Christ, maybe you didn’t fully accept Him.  If you have never accepted Christ, I beg you to seek guidance from a Godly friend or a Pastor.  Drive to a church and talk to someone.  You can make a change… you can live a Godly life… you CAN!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

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Don’t Be an Eeyore…

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EeyoreLet me start with an apology.  I’m not the most sensitive person in the world.  I’m empathetic and sympathetic, but can be more “to the point” sometimes than people prefer.

Now that is out of the way…. have you ever met an Eeyore?  These are people who when asked “how are you?” they actually tell you.  I mean most of us are stressed out, tired, achy, moody, etc. but when asked, we reply “fine” or something similar.

These people wear on me.  I feel for their trials, but after a while it just gets old.  No one wants to constantly hear about someone else’s problems.  We have enough of our own.  I am not referring to someone who has a problem and shared it with you.  I am referring to the individuals that have nothing but problems and share with you and anyone else that will listen.  It’s really sad and drains those of us that try to stay positive through our trials.

Maybe if you could look at your problems through a different light.  See that you are a child of God… see that you are loved.  God’s love for us is more than we can imagine.  He doesn’t want you to complain all the time about what He has given you.

If looking at it differently doesn’t work, maybe change your situation.  If you hate your job, look for another one.  If you are not a morning person, try listening to uplifting music or exercising before you go to work.  If you are having relationship issues, talk it out or seek counseling.  God doesn’t want us to live in misery.  You have the ability to change your situation.  It might not be easy, but it’s better than being miserable.

Most of the time, I think that it’s the attitude about it all.  Either way, please understand that while people want to help you and pray for you, people also want to hear something positive.  Maybe next time someone asks “how are you?” just say, with a smile “God let me get up this morning!”  Some days, that might me all you’ve got, but at least it’s something.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22