Monday, October 31, 2011

The 6 month rule

Someone told me this, I have no recollection who, but it really made an impression on me and I still use it to this day.

"If it will not matter in 6 months, do not get angry about it"

I have found this to be an excellent ruler in my life to measure the anger worth of something. It helps to actually think about what date 6 months from now is. Today it would be around May 2012. Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, the sun is shining, and you are bitterly crouched in a corner grinding your teeth about what Joe said in November. Hope not.

Husband forgets to video daughter and mother solo at church- irksome but in 6 months I can promise you I will have forgotten.

Lucky for ole hubs I have a terrible memory.

Now, by angry I mean the kind of "be angry and sin not" type deal.

Ephesians 4:26 Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger

My take on this is- address the issue if you know it's a 6 monther, if not forgive and forget.

Your child sasses you and disrespects you- Trust me in 6 months if left unaddressed it will be much more of a problem for you then.

Heck, most anybody who is disrespecting you openly probably needs a verbal stop sign put up without malice.

My only disclaimer is that you have to seek God's council on what should matter in 6th months because if in 6 months you are still stewing about Aunt Susie using your decorative towels to wipe her dirty hands then the problem may not be with Aunt Susie. Just saying.
Only be as prickly as you actually need to be.

Monday, October 24, 2011


I recently heard a speaker talking about the difference in tolerating someone and loving them. It made a big impression on me.

I don't know about you but I would much rather be loved rather than tolerated.
Yet, I realized I often tolerate people rather than loving them.

I suspect God would not have commanded us to love people if the loving depended on something outside of us. If their behavior, hygiene, religion, intelligence, charisma or temperament were key, His command would have been to be lovable not to love.

I came up with some signs that you are tolerating a person rather than loving them.
I have to ask myself:
  • Am I suppressing my underlying dislike of this person to interact with them socially?- that's tolerance not love
  • Do I feel an internal cringe instead of a grin when they walk into the room?- that's tolerance not love
  • Is it almost impossible to find a positive comment to make about this person or to formulate a prayer for them?- that's tolerance not love
  • Do I have unexpressed doubts they can ever experience the love of God? that's tolerance not love.
and finally
  • Do I treat them with kindness out of guilt or duty? that's tolerance not love.
Here's what I know about me:
I don't have the capacity to transform Tolerance into Love.
I don't even desire to transform it most of the time. It just seems like too much work.

Here's what I know about God:
He has the capacity to transform Tolerance into blindingly beautiful Love.
He desires deeply to do that and He only needs an open door into a heart to do all the work.

I have been thinking about this for 2 weeks and I have a feeling I will be thinking about it for years to come.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Tuesday's Child

My husband celebrated his birthday yesterday and it was a day of contrasts.
I was up pretty late the night before.
Here he is innocently sleeping 30 minutes before his birthday- (he's going to love that I posted this picture).

That picture is pretty symbolic of our relationship. He is definitely the more innocent, unsuspecting, goodhearted one. I have a kooky sense of humor, devious thought processes and a good nature that depends on the intervention of the Holy Spirit.

The day before we had taken our dog to the vet. She was 12.5 years old and suffering greatly.
I got the call yesterday morning that it was time to end her suffering. I think I cried harder at having to tell my sweet husband on his birthday morning that we had to do this, than over the actual loss. She lived a long and happy dog life and I hated to think of her suffering.
Noelle I will sincerely miss you- you were a good companion and easy to care for.

At the end of the day- while eating my husbands favorite meal: Buffalo Wild Wings and white chocolate macadamia nut cookies as a family- I found myself feeling very thankful for the life I have. And especially for the immeasurable gift God has given me in my husband.

Happy Birthday to you sweet heart but I think the rest of us celebrate it more because of our good fortune you were born and are a part of our lives.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Off Trend

I am always weirdly just left or right of any great Trend. Right now it is super trendy to be an Urban Mom with mad knitting/crafting skills, who takes her kids to beautiful parks or to be a Country Mom with chickens, dogs, cats, who has cowboy boot wearing kiddos.

I live in the country but I don't like taking care of the fish in our fish tank. My son hates to sweat or deal with biting insects, hence his battle cry every weekend we try to force him out of the house "I am not an outside person". Hey, we did get them to the local fair this weekend so score one for outdoor activity.

 Yeah, he still hated being hot but the fair has some consolation in that department too.

When I read blogs or books by parents I want to learn from, I am often left feeling off trend. Am I not caring enough? Am I too sensitive? Am I going to set them on a path that will burst into flames, smash them in two and EJECT THEM INTO SPACE!!!!  
This sequence of pics shows a ride that does a fine job of illustrating my point.

Oh, yeah son we can totally do this! (I am on the side lines freely admitting I would never ride this ride)
Ring of Fire, eh.
Don't worry they did not see a thing, eyes were closed for the entire ride.
Stumbling off the ride both grinning crazily and vowing never to ride again.

I have to admit I struggle with fear.

One of the best things I did pick up lately was "Do not make parenting decisions out of fear".

As a Christian I have to live out this verse-  
2 Timothy 1:7
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 

It's not just true for parenting, but for every other act in life.

Don't choose a parenting plan out of fear but out of power and love and self-control.

Don't pick a diet out of fear but out of power, love and self-control.

Don't chose a spouse out of fear but out of power, love and self-control.

You get the idea, now just apply it to the very next choice you have to make. It's pretty interesting how much fear runs around in our lives.

Monday, October 3, 2011


I can feel it in my bones, in my spirit- There is a great need for encouragement. Having seen "Courageous" this weekend, I am of the mind to "en-courage" someone else and myself.

October is a good month for it. A change in temps and sunny weather are a natural encouragement.

The truth is it's hard to see beauty in thorny situations- pain is great at distracting us.

It's not about having the strength of will to overcome, but surrendering our will to the one who has already overcome. Dark times ask us questions like "Do I really trust God?", "Is He getting it all wrong?", "Will He allow me to crumble?". Questions we normally like to pretend don't exist.

This weekend I heard several stories along this theme but the one that stuck with me the most was this one.

A solider in the desert traveling with his company runs into a sand storm. He is a Christian so he begins to pray that God will remove the storm so they can make it across the desert and complete their mission. The others watch as he prays. The storm continues to rage and finally they make camp and prepare to sleep. The solider is angry. Why has God ignored his cries? Where is his witness now?
In the morning they all awake to see a path cleared by the storm across the desert. Directly in their path are three exposed landmines. In that moment the solider knows what God had always known. He has a purpose. His ways are just. Our vision is blurred.

Take courage friend. Release striving and be in faith. See the light always before us.

1 Thessalonians 5:9-11 For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us so that whether we are awake(alive) or asleep (dead) we might live with him. Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (Italicized words added by me)