The Experience from Mistakes

Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.” Ecclesiastes 7:20

One of the desires I have for my child, is for her to never feel pain. (Feel free to laugh out loud.) If I tell her what to do in a certain situation and she still chooses to do the opposite and gets hurt, I am angry at her choice. One of the hardest thing to do as a parent of a young child is to let them suffer consequences. I want to fix it and make them not feel any pain. I realize that this is one of the greatest faults I can commit. (Obviously, there are some non negotiable situations: if there is a seat belt-you wear it, wear a helmet while bike riding, etc. If she could be wrapped in bubble wrap, I would do it.)

My daughter was having one of those weeks. Every choice she made, she chose a bad one. One day, she came home after school and was crying. She told me she got into trouble at school. She explained what she did. This all occurred in one class time: she talked back to the substitute teacher two times, she ran in the classroom fighting with another student to get the class basketball for recess, and she refused to go sit with the class on the carpet. YIKES! I received a phone call from her teacher on Saturday Morning telling me what happened. She was punished by her father and I at home and by her teacher at school. It was also a 3 day weekend, so it was quite long and boring for her. I was told that the following week at school was much better. She learned that her bad actions bring consequences, the old saying, “you reap what you sow”.

I do wish I could have a re-do for many of my mistakes. But many times my mistakes were my greatest teacher. We have to experience failure to learn and change. We cannot be afraid to make mistakes, because we will never try at all. I have to see my mistakes as blessings. I created a solution to that particular problem because there was a mistake to begin with. We can recall our mistakes to make sure we choose wisely in a situation but God never wants our mistakes to torment us.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, despite the hurt and pain I feel, I am thankful for learning from these mistakes. I break off perfectionism and control over aspects of my life that I truly cannot control. I rebuke worry and shame from failing at things I encounter in life. I pray for heavenly guidance and a clear mind. I am thankful that your perfect love casts out all fear. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN!”

“You won’t let me forget that, will you?”

Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” Hebrews 12:14-15

Rehashing” is a term that means, “consider or discuss (something) at length after it has happened.” Many of us are familiar with action. I mull over events in my life that I could have done better or think of things that I could have said to a person that hurt me. Others in a conversation will bring up the other person’s past and remind them of their mistakes. This one…REALLY chaps my hide.

Recently, their were two incidents of this type of behavior-one witnessed, the other experienced. The first one, I witnessed was at church. I heard a woman drop her travel coffee mug. It made everyone jump when it hit the ground. Her husband said to one of the staff members, “And this is why I carry all the electronics. When we just got married, I bought her really expensive perfume and she dropped the bottle all over my mom’s floor. It reeked so bad from the mess.” As a self-proclaimed klutz myself, I was mortified. His wife looked completely crushed. This incident occurred at least 10 years ago and he embarrasses his wife by bringing up that incident. I am sure she didn’t want to drop and break it. But every time he tells that story, it is like she drops it again for the hundredth time and she feels the same way.

My story comes from a person close to the family bringing up past situations of mine. This person has no filter and loves “to tell it like it is”. They are sarcastic and cutting with their words. Unfortunately, there is no love from it, it is pure venom. There were two things they did that caused me pain: they got their stories mixed up (which was basically a lie) and they said it to my daughter about me, right in front of me. I was mortified, I was trying not to explode like a volcano and give them a piece of my mind. I sat there in a daze, silent. When they walked away, my daughter asked me, “Why are they so mean to you? I don’t like it.” I wanted to prove them wrong and but I said nothing because I felt it would it would add fuel to the fire. Hours later, I thought of some many things I could have said in that moment.  But there I was, with my version of rehashing it.

The fact is, something in their life has caused them pain and then they show that pain through their words. I prayed about the situation. I asked The Holy Spirit to please reveal to me what needs to be done. This is what I heard…

1) Pray for them and their healing from the trauma in their life.

2.) I can stand up for myself, but only when I am calm. Lashing out at them in the same manner, will only create a more dramatic situation.

3.) Set those boundaries, especially when they do not recognize what they are doing is hurtful. Try to avoid situations that may have me be trapped with them.

This world is hurting. People will show their pain in different ways. They may want to blame themselves or blame the world.  I try to live by The Golden Rule, “Treat others as you wish to be treated.” No matter how horrible someone is, I can’t just hurt them with my words, it doesn’t solve anything. But I have to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to be my guide.

Lesson Learned: Bringing up someone’s failures or bad moment in time-over and over again, only creates more shame not a change in their behavior.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, let your forgiveness be final. Help me to quiet my mind of the thoughts from my past. Help to remind me not do this to other people. When this happens to me, calm my feelings and help me defend myself with the words that would come from you. Give me a way out if things become too intense. Guard my heart and mouth. In Jesus’ Name! AMEN!”

Your Body is a Temple

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.”

I Corinthians 6:19-20

I was watching a television show about people dealing with difficult life experiences. This particular story was about a former professional snowboarder named Kevin Pearce. He had an accident during a competition that gave him a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma. He had a long recovery. He was able to walk and talk again, but at a different pace. During one of his meetings with his neurologist, he was frustrated about his progress. The doctor said, “love your brain. It is the most important part of your body. Learn to love it, so you can heal better.” That moment provided the catalyst for Kevin to start a non-profit organization called, just that…”Love Your Brain”. It gives people the resources they need in dealing with brain injuries and to improve their quality of life.

I was moved and convicted at the same time. I am so frustrated with my body aging, that I am almost angry at it. I am more tired, stiffer and my bones seem to crack more than ever before. I have seen the doctor more in the past year two years than I have in ten years. I run myself ragged and get sicker more frequently. I worry about things that I cannot control. God gave us our bodies to take care of well. Besides exercise and eating healthy, rest is a part of the equation too. Aren’t we supposed to keep a Sabbath? But how can we when something seems to be scheduled every day? I am learning, it is not worth it. I can’t do things well when I am sick and tired. I have to take the cues from my body and stop and rest.

At one of my many visits to the doctor, the doctor asked me if I ever go on their website and use some of their resources. I knew what she was referring to, the podcast on relaxation. I told her I wasn’t sure that it was for me. She pleaded with me to try it and if I didn’t like it, then we will find something else. I will be honest, when I hear some of these podcasts, they sound very New Age and straight up weird. I didn’t think God would be allowed in any of their podcasts. I prayed that I would have protection if something was subliminal and discernment if I needed to turn it off. I chose the one on the lymphatic system. I have been having health problems in that area. The weird wind chiming music started to play and I thought “oh here we go…” But I tried to focus. The woman speaking said, if you only need some things from this, take them. If not, let your focus go. That seemed to relax me. She talked about being thankful for the body I was given and to treat it well. She mentioned how every person has their own set number of lymph nodes in their body. This gave me a flash back to massage school, where they talked this.  I remember how the woman leading that particular subject said how amazing of a creator God was to design us so special. Then the voice of the woman on the podcast said, be thankful for your body that God created. I was stunned. She said “God” in the podcast I assumed would try to make me worship crystals and thank Mother Earth. The podcast ended and I was actually relaxed and thankful for my body.

I need to be always be thankful for this amazing creation that the human body is and how it can heal itself with sleep and rest. A better, loving attitude towards my body may be just the thing to bring the renewal I need. God can take anything, no matter how leery we are of it and show us His glory.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for being the master physician and great creator. I ask for healing and restoration anywhere that my body needs it. I pray that I remember to rest and take a day to enjoy the week. Thank you for everything that I take for granted that my body is able to do. I pray that all the systems in my body function and work well. Reveal areas in my life that I need to let go of or work on. In Jesus’ Name. AMEN!”

In His Timing

Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:14

The process of buying and selling a home is one of the most stressful things in life. We embarked on this adventure right after having our baby. I wouldn’t do it that way, but it was a buyer’s market and 550 square feet amongst 3 people, was a bit challenging. We bought our new place first (another mistake) and had 30 days to find a buyer or risk paying mortgages on two places. Let the stress begin!

The whole time I was praying for the right person to come along. Our realtor, who was a Christian, prayed when we began the process. We received an offer 1 week after the condo was on the market. I had a bad feeling though. The situation of the buyer seemed like this place would not ideally fit his work situation. And my feeling proved correct. One week after, we accepted the offer, he pulled out as a buyer. This was not a good situation to be in. In 17 days, we were set to move into our new place. I felt myself beginning to panic. I looked at our savings and thought, we may be able to handled two places for a coupe months, but that was it. I was already stressed and tired from having a 4 month old, now this?

The next day, we received a call from a realtor verifying if our place was back on the market. She had a client, named Rodney, who was interested and wanted to see it again. I thought, “again?” Then I remember that man. He came by and said how much, he loved our place, but he wasn’t sure if he could qualify for a loan. She told me that he was very eager, because he called her 4 o’clock in the morning, telling her our place was available again and he had the money to buy it outright. While, we had the other offer, he asked his family for help financially, so he could purchase his first place. When they finally agreed to help him, our place went back on the market. He asked for a short escrow and we were glad to oblige! We moved out on a Saturday and he moved in two days later. He also needed a couch and an armoire and we didn’t feel like moving the ones we had down 3 flights of stairs, so we both won on that too!

My husband and I were talking about how things worked out for the best. I said, I could have done without the stress of it all. My husband said something so profound and liberating,

We may have been stressed and wondered why our prayers weren’t being answered immediately. But God was working on answering Rodney’s prayers first. You know how much he will love that place. Wouldn’t you rather have it go to someone who will appreciate than to someone who didn’t care if it became their home?”

(He was absolutely correct, but don’t tell him I said he was right.)

It isn’t always about what I want, but maybe who has the bigger need. God cares about every situation we are in. Waiting is really difficult. That expression, “you can’t see the forest for the trees” is so true in many of our situations. We look at all the little hiccups along the way, instead of what the bigger picture is. Keep waiting on the Lord for what He wants to do. It is always for the greater good.

Prayer:

Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for my lack of patience. Help me to endure and stay strong for every season I encounter. I thank you that you care and that you love me and want the best for me in my life. In times of uncertainty, please give me peace and to remain calm. Let your will be done and forgive me for trying to make it happen. Alert me when to move on something and when to stay still.

In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”