I just had a really cool experience – a friend noticed that the tires on my car looked low, like they needed some air. Now the deal is that I can be semi-car savy. However, lately I haven’t had very much time to be mindful of car maintainence. Furthermore, we are leaving Thurs to go to Cambodia & getting to do some AMAZING work with Saving Moses & nightcare. So when my friend said he would help w the air pressure thing, I was blown away – totally. As he was saying that he would help me, I felt the Holy Spirit remind me that love is kind & this is a very tangible expression of genuine love. I became stunned to recognize that God was immediately expressing love to me through the kind & practical help with the air pressure in my tires.
This is all to say that the many big & small expressions of kindness to & through us throughout any given day could be dry meaningful expressions of God’s love to & through us, if we’ll keep our eyes & ears dialed into God’s voice, hand & ways. Be mindful that God genuinely loves you 😀
Recently, I’ve been somewhat frustrated with one of my friends because they’ve made some very silly decisions that have had some fairly negative consequences. I find myself being impatient with my friend & wanting them to change. I’m trying to watch the words that I say to my friend, so that I don’t hurt their feelings due to my impatience. So far, here’s my impatience insights:
if impatience is left unchecked, it can be very destructive
impatience isn’t only related to our words, but it also can affect our attitudes & actions, so that even if we don’t say anything, we must still remain vigilant against even its subtle expression
sometimes it helps to talk about how we feel, but its important to be responsible for our own feelings & not give someone else control of how we may feel or act
sometimes the best antidote to impatience is a slow, intentional & methodical application of patience
James 1:4 – let patience have her perfect work so that you may be mature & complete. Give patience permission to work in your life 🙂
Over the last few weeks, I have had some interesting conversations with various friends about different ways to improve relationships One such way is by doing things together – so today, my husband & I are going to buy a dishwasher. Of course we have different ways of approaching this project, but the point is that we work together to get something that will be reliable & helpful to our family for a reasonable price. I’ll keep you posted on how this adventure turns out ,)
Some other ways to help a relationship grow include:
trust: not only do we want to be able to trust the other person, but we, ourselves, must also be trustworthy
forgiveness – the deeper the friendship, the greater the quantity & deeper the quality of forgiveness; shallow friendships can often reflect limited forgiveness
time: listening, doing things together and other things / ways that require time
sacrifice: preferring the other person’s desires & needs over our own is a good way to not only grow a relationship, but to also grow as an individual
communication: honesty & diversity (through lots of different ways – written, non-verbal, dialogues, to name a few ideas)
affirmation: looking for creative ways to say, “you is kind, you is wise & you is important” is always important to grow relationships
common purpose: it’s important to understand that different relationships have different purposes (friendships can be for a reason, a season but only a few are for a lifetime)
Ultimately, I see my relationships as a means to express genuine love – letting God love through me. This is the goal in which I want to always be improving.
I’ve been thinking about love & its various expressions as they relate to different relationships (kids, parents, mates, friends, etc). In my thinking, I’ve also been considering not only what love is, but also what love is not & here are some take aways I’ve been considering. Love is not:
selfish – hence my tweet from a few days ago about love making decisions in the best interests of the recipient & not merely the giver of love
inconsistent – love is stable & as such, doesn’t merely function in the realm of feelings
hateful, malicious, evil, cruel or sadistic
apathetic – this word comes from the greek meaning to lack feeling or passion (a-pathy). Perhaps indifference is more deadly than guns, bombs & knives
egocentric or prideful – maybe these would be synonyms with selfish
These are some interesting observations, but what is more important than observation is application. I know that I want to love well & authentically, but I get frustrated with myself because I fail. It is exactly these frustrations, among other things, that cause me to turn to God because God is love. I turn to God to live in a deeper relationship with Him so that He can love others more authentically through me.
i was flying somewhere & observed some person get really upset w a flight attendant & chew out the attendant.
i was at starbux & saw a person blow off the barista making their beverage
In both of these instances, i was perplexed. Why would you take out the frustrations of your day on the person responsible for your safety & well being while flying on an airplane? What good would be accomplished by making a flight attendant angry w you? Furthermore, why would you dismiss or ignore the person making a drink that you will be consuming?
Why do we let out or frustrations on someone who is serving us? Even if they get something wrong or make a mistake, why wouldn’t we extend some of the abundant grace that we’ve received? Aside from what Jesus tells us to be kind & loving, its just good common sense to think twice & be nice, even if you’re feeling a bit stressed out. 🙂