Category Archives: July 2019

Shoes

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I had a really nice visit with a friend not so long ago. While she is a pastor’s wife at our church, I’ve also had the privilege to get to know her better through a small group Bible study. It was during this time that she really made an impression on me. Although she has 5 children of her own and is my junior, I was able to discern she had a depth to her Christian walk. In other words, she wasn’t just a “pastor’s wife” in name only. She has a genuine faith all her own aside from her husband’s role in the church.

During our brief visit, I shared with her some things I’ve been struggling with in my parenting. Knowing her as I do, I felt she would have some godly wisdom for me. Little did I know that her words would be few, yet pregnant in meaning. Her response, “I haven’t walked in your shoes.” Wow! That really resonated with me because she could have easily spewed from her vast experience of parenting her own 5 children. I would have taken it all in and considered what she was saying, but the impact of those 6 words conveyed so much more to me.

“I haven’t walked in your shoes” communicates several things. One being the most obvious, I’ve not been in your particular situation so I don’t feel I can bring anything to the table. Second, considers that while the experience I have with my children might be helpful to you, it may not be, simply because all children are different just as all parents are different. Third, it validates you as a parent by not assuming you’re an igmo since you’re in the spot you’re in. Fourth, it offers empathy to the person who is seeking help and desperately trying to find a solution to their problem.

Leaving my friend that afternoon, I not only felt heard but encouraged, empathized with, prayed for, and refreshed. Isn’t this what we all long for with our most treasured of friends? It seems ludicrous to think otherwise, yet more times than I care to recall, I’ve come away from a conversation having felt ridiculed, challenged, put down, a less than, and an igmo all rolled into one! For me to humbly ask a friend for advice, in my opinion, is a compliment to my friend. It conveys that this friend is admired, looked up to, been in a similar situation where they can empathize and offer help. I cannot fathom why anyone would respond in any other way but with grace and honor.

My challenge to you: the next time a friend shares her personal dilemma with you, consider her thoughts and feelings. Listen to her with respect and empathy. Weigh your words carefully before pontificating your thoughts. And as a respected pastor of mine once said, ‘while listening (to the person speak), I pray silently to God asking for His wisdom to share rather than my own’.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Time Out=New Perspective

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Let’s just be really honest here. Being a Mom is oftentimes hard. Who am I kidding? I mean really hard. Yes, there are plenty of (thank goodness!) good days as a parent but somehow when the days turn angry like the clouds in the sky, those days tend to overshadow the good ones, if we’re not careful.

I’m not one of those gals who paints a rosy, Christmas-letter type picture of my life on social media. As a matter of fact, I tend to scroll right on by the “fake family news” as I call it because it’s just that: FAKE. No one lives a life of glory and joy-filled moments day after day after day. That simply does not exist. People are people and let’s face it, people are people, so there’s that. Imperfect people cannot be perfect no matter how you slice it.

Laying myself out there as bare as I care to dare, today was an ugly, angry cloud day in my house. Yes, there I said it! It started, I don’t know, like by 8:30 this morning, to be exact. There were a few golden moments offering peace, giggles, and fun mind you, before it quickly gave way to disrespect, a sassy attitude, ungratefulness, and downright unkind words. Before I knew it, those angry clouds brewing in our home started to leak. That’s right, I lost it and the tears started falling like a rainstorm. And of all days, FRIDAY! My favorite day of the week had gone south on a bullet.

clouds-194840_640.jpgIt wasn’t long before negative thoughts began ruling my mind. True, I hadn’t had my time in the Word to transform those negative thoughts, which was my first mistake. Nor had I offered my day to the Lord asking Him to fill me with His spirit, power, grace, and love equating to my second mistake. Not being a morning person per se, means I tend to bump into the devil before my feet leave the bed, if you know what I mean. It’s no wonder why Jesus got away with the Lord first thing in the morning. I believe there is something to that. Duh!

Sadly, the sports camp my son was in all week, affording me some much-needed peaceful moments, ended yesterday (Thursday), to my shock and dismay. Yeah, that nightmare hit me like a fast-moving train in the middle of the night! So much so, I jumped out of my bed to verify it on my computer only to discover that my bad dream was indeed true. In my effort to get back to ‘La La Land’, I managed to come up with some alternate plans for our day: hunting down some fresh peaches, a Costco run, followed by a trip to the pool. Sadly, none of those things took place. Instead, I found myself driving around our neighborhood in search of my son who chose naughty behavior by sneaking out of our house without my knowing. The results: a prolonged time-out on his part back at the house so I could take a shower (yeah, I was driving around in my nightgown for heavens’ sake!) and try again, only to be met with more shenanigans contributing to the downward spiral of our day.

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Before I knew it, I put myself in my own time-out, giving my brain a chance to cool off, re-focus, and gain a better perspective. I’ve learned “Mommy time-outs” are the best medicine when you find yourself home bound with a child who successfully manages to push all your buttons at one time, multiple times throughout the day. You can better believe I’ll be setting my alarm extra early to get up, have a little coffee, spend some time with the Lord and His Word from this day forward. I’ve learned my lesson!

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did somebody say FREE?!

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Stay tuned for details on how YOU can win!

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What better way to jump into summer than with a complete fiction series?! Heaven Intended is a clean, historical romance series (Full Quiver Publishing, 2014, 2018, and 2019). It won’t make you blush or be embarrassed if your teen or tween look at any of the content.

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This series is set in the Civil War and is inspired by real heroes and events of the war (see Father Thomas O’Reilly’s biography on page 238 in book 1). It’s in their routines and hardship of life where their faith is naturally seen. They desperately lean into God, but it is not in a way that makes you feel you are doing something wrong or are not enough because you don’t do the same thing or pray in the same way.

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