Posts Tagged ‘grace’

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Thankfulness 2014: Week 4

December 6, 2014

Nov. 22 Thankful for books to read, clothes to fold, and cooking competitions to watch and giggle over with the girls. What a relaxing Saturday!

Sunday night took a turn that had me feeling less than grateful and struggling to give thanks. But I suppose it is only fitting that:
Nov. 23 if I am granted tomorrow then I am thankful it will be a new day and that today will be behind me.

Nov. 24 I am thankful for the brief blast of warmth today and the mother-daughter time with T1 and another new “first”. Let me not forget that these things will be just as new to T2 when her time comes. (We went to a friend who sells Mary Kay to learn how to apply make up with the ‘less is more’ philosophy … because she was caught trying to wear make up without permission.)

Nov. 25 I am thankful for the fellowship, conversation, and family fun of a night of coffee and bowling. It was such a low-key night. Probably the first time in 9 years we didn’t have scouts [the Tuesday before Thanksgiving] and oddly (gladly?) I don’t feel guilty about it one bit.

Nov. 26 I am thankful for the rain and wintry mix. Perfect for resting and hanging out at home, working on projects… so glad the Chief is still home to help T2 finish her science fair project! The rain also got me out of running sprints but I have to make it up on the bike. ūüė¶

Nov. 27 I am thankful for the table of plenty were shared in. We have never truly known want and I hope my children understand that. More though, I am thankful for the feast of God’s love that He so generously invites us to. His grace and mercy are abundant and unending and for the first time in a long time, I am content to sit in that glow.

Nov. 28 Because it is our nephew’s birthday I am thankful for all our nephews near and far! I am also thankful for the friends who carry on the crazy tradition of getting together for some good food, good conversation, and starting off the holiday season just right!

Nov. 29 I am thankful for the difference time and letting go make. To end this month of thanksgiving with a real appreciation for counting blessings and being grateful instead of … well, if you know me you know what the alternative is …, it is something to be savored. It is peaceful and it has been a long time. I enjoyed this relaxing Saturday morning with the Chief, appreciating his presence and for being my rock. And then the girls came home… LOL

Nov. 30 I am thankful for the calm before the storm … is the house ready for Christmas? Nope and I don’t know when it will be. Does that bother me? Yeah. But it is mainly because we don’t know when the Chief is shipping out and the vagueness is killing me. I’m going to take a breather and reread my list of 30 Days of Thanks and then just conquer my list of Things to Do one task at a time and remind myself to not sweat it if it doesn’t all get done. And Yeah, for the first time ever we have some outdoor Christmas lights. LOL

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Speak Softly…

January 27, 2013

Hmmm…. this Year of Listening thing is going to be interesting.

This Mama Bear is up in arms because of the treatment of one of her children in the name of “fairness.” How I loathe that word!

It wasn’t about fairness at all. These children swarmed and hounded and punished her–even after she did the right thing. I watched her defend herself with tears in her eyes. They “worked it out” and yet one child wanted to repeatedly make sure she didn’t apologize¬†because after all what transpired “wasn’t fair.” That’s what my child walked away with–not the fact she could hold her head up high for doing the right thing even if it wasn’t easy or that she necessarily didn’t want to.

Here’s the kicker–I have the opportunity to “enlighten” these girls about fairness. I am their scout leader after all. Oh, I so want to rage and lay the hammer down–Hulk Smash will have nothing on me! And it’s not just because it was my child … it is a statement about our culture raising generations of self-entitled, whiney, spoiled, mediocre, mindless, government-dependent citizens crying “It’s not fair–I don’t have what you have and it’s not my fault.”

No I didn’t sleep well. I don’t when in a tizzy. But in class today, I was asked to listen again.

If last week we looked at how Christ was full of truth and grace (John 1:14) and the need to reflect Christ through us and therefore being kind, then this week we looked ever deeper about what that means for us.

Colossians 4: 6 — Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were, with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person.

In my own Joyful Servant class last week we were talking about being “a light of the world. A city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.” (Matt. 5:14-16) We talked about all the ways we show that light–example, kindness, giving, serving, praying, teaching…

These same children that I’ve been teaching are the same who put my child undeservedly in her place in the name of fairness.

And if I swoop in with righteous indignation I will not be that light nor will I show that grace. Listen.

What’s the phrase? Speak softly and carry a big stick? These children have been with me for a long time–they know I carry a big stick.

Speak softly. Maybe they will listen.

Okay. I’m listening and I have a few days to figure this out.

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Be Kind

January 21, 2013

Wow. I realized I hadn’t posted a blog in about a week. Life here just keeps trucking. I have ideas in my head–need to finish my “Tell Me Abouts” and write about my grandmothers; ideas about serving others; and of course a Bench Message. Today, with the exception of going to E.o.t.T., is supposed to be a relaxing day but it really isn’t. I have so much to catch up on and do for the upcoming busy week. So with checklist in hand and a tummy full of delicious chilli … here is this week’s (or is it last week’s) Bench Message: Be Kind.

Bench Message: Be Kind, copyright SnipeWife 2013

Bench Message: Be Kind, copyright SnipeWife 2013

We are beginning a 14 week study of Acts. It coincides with what I’m teaching in my Joyful Servant class about the church and beliefs and practices. I’m particularly interested in studying what is a hard and fast rule, what is cultural, and what is merely a gray area. I’m feeling energized by both classes.

Our facilitator is reading N.T. Wright’s Acts for Everyone Part 1 and Part 2 in addition to the Bible text. We’re just delving into Chapter 3 of Acts and reading about Peter’s sermon at the Temple. The facilitator brings in John 1:14:

14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us (and we beheld his glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father), full of grace and truth. (NAS)

We were asked what does in mean to be “Full of grace and truth?” It was a great discussion. I don’t know whether the following can be attributed to the facilitator or the N.T. Wright but it struck a chord with me, especially as I’m trying to make this the Year of Listening.

“Even the right words said at the wrong time can be devastating.”

If grace is giving undeserved kindness and mercy and we are to be more Christ-like, how do we show that?

Right now I have a few stresses in my life that could use some addressing. But quite honestly, there really isn’t a “right” time. “If I could just educate them, show them the error of their ways … if I could just ask them to stop causing me stress … it will go away.” Not really. The unintended consequences always have a price to pay and you better be prepared to pay if one chooses to charge ahead.

This can, at least in me, cause a feeling of being tired of being on the “High Road” all the time. Feeling like that robs us of the peace showing kindness is really all about.

Instead of feeling put out and put upon to be on the High Road, maybe if we focus on holding back even the right words at all the wrong times, we are showing kindness. Even to someone who isn’t being kind to us.

Be Kind.

And have faith that if it becomes necessary to say those right words, the right moment will happen. In the end by not saying the right words at the wrong time is also a kindness to yourself. Don’t add to the stress you’re under with a cost that may be too high to pay. Don’t rob yourself of the good being kind can do for that other person or yourself.

Interestingly I’ve had a few chances this week to choose not to address a stress–before we discussed it in class. I’m glad I was listening and paying attention. This does not mean I am avoiding it or letting it fester. Making a conscious choice is weighing all the options and addressing it.

This also doesn’t mean I won’t “talk it out” because I believe quite integral in a woman’s nature is the need to process by talking (or maybe blogging). To be able to say all the “right things to address a wrong” to a trusted*¬†objective, patient and non-judgemental–and kind–ear has a purpose and can help one to focus on the good of showing kindness and avoid making rash decisions and therefore suffering even greater consequences.¬†This process for women is natural. Yes, some can become champions of feeding a festering wound, especially if their chosen listener is an equally toxic person or if their listener isn’t really listening. And yes, some can use a social media outlet as a place to toxicly dump thinking they are safe from consequences (or if they¬†are really dumping like that they probably could care less about consequences and personal responsibility). For the rest, though, most of us are just trying to process and can come to reasonable solutions on our own.

*Trusted is a key word–you have to be able to trust that what is said does not go beyond the speaker and listener or it defeats the purpose.

I think this is a good follow-up to Be a Friend. Go out there and Be Kind.

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