Grace to Grow

I just had the privilege to catch up w an old friend & it was delightful to chat over coffee & remember some fun times together. It was also interesting to see how each of us has changed, grown and matured.
In all of or relationships, there are things that can bug us about the other person & clearly we have plenty of our own weakspots that can be very bothersome.
Let’s give each other grace to grow & then enjoy the journey. Only Jesus is the completed human masterpiece. The rest of us are works in progress 🙂

conflict resolution

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

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

Happy Monday to you!

 

sometimes my kids don’t like me

This Summer, I’m undertaken the adventure with my children of training their weekly domestic organization skills, translation:  house cleaning.  To make progress on this adventure, I’ve organized some checklists so that it will be clear to the responsible individual when they’ve adequately completed their assignments.  Needless to say, the checklists aren’t popular & sometimes, they don’t even like the domestic organization adventure, imagine that ,)

All of that is to say that I guess it’s not really that strange on occasion that we may not like some of the things that God does.  At bare minimum, Hebrews 12 tells us that God disciplines us because God loves us.  Discipline, correction and training aren’t always pleasant but most of the time, we like the outcomes, just not the process.  So let’s stay in love with Jesus, keeping walking with Him through various processes, training and development.  For me, staying in love with Jesus helps make everything better, even training my kids through the exciting domestic organization adventure 🙂

Easy doesn’t always mean essential

I’ve been thinking about going through some difficult times & situations which aren’t very fun. If you’re like me, I tend to want to avoid these difficulties. However, when I think about Joseph in Genesis, he went through some extremely ugly situations – sold into slavery, unjustly accused, imprisoned, ignored & more. Nevertheless, even though he went through lots of “uneasy” & uncomfortable, he didn’t quit & decide to take an easy path.
But many times, what is not easy, is essential to realize God’s potential for our lives. So if you’re in a non-easy season or situation, be encouraged that God is cultivating your potential for something really amazing!!

something helpful for hardships

As a mom with 3 wonderful kids, I’m super high on my kids.  I think they’re amazing, funny, intelligent, kind, wonderful and they can almost walk on water, almost ,)  With that being said, I’ve noticed that my gentle efforts to wake them up every morning are sometimes not as effective as something less gentle – we call this the defcon 5-1 approach 🙂

While it’s unfortunate, it is also true that we sometimes learn the best and grow the most through hardship and struggle.  Even though I want to insulate my kids & protect them from every single hardship & struggle, this isn’t always what is in their longterm best interests.  Perhaps God sees us with the same perspective, knowing that we often grow and mature the most when we wrestle with hardships and struggle.  Perhaps this is why James says that we’re to be grateful for adversities – ouch!

let the small things stay small

We’ve all had the experience of driving along & someone flips us off or does something rude that was stupid.  We have a choice with these kinds of petty actions – we can let them stay small & fade into the past or we can get wound up about them & carry them into the present.  Small things need to stay small, be that rude comments, gestures, attacking words, etc.  Don’t magnify things that need to stay small.  Of course I’m not advocating being a door mat, but I think that we can easily get caught up & distracted on things that should stay small.

On the flip side, let’s be sure to magnify important things like genuine love, Jesus’ presence, grace and forgiveness.  Let’s stay focused on letting the Holy Spirit continue to work in our lives to make us big people! 🙂

Stay tuned here as well for updates about my upcoming Saving Moses trip to Angola next week!

On making change

Have you ever been short changed, only to make this discovery when it was too late? This used to really big me, so I would do my best to remember to stay & count my change the moment I received it. The important part was to STAY & count the change.
I’ve been thinking lately about making some important changes in my life & I’ve come to the conclusion that commitment precedes change. A person who doesn’t commit often never changes but they will frequently change their surroundings to avoid commitments that would require them to change. I know that sounds convoluted, but simply put: change is often a consequence of commitment & a lack of growth & maturity is often a reflection of non-commitment.
If you want to avoid being short changed, be sure to hang around & count your change ,)