Let’s Stop Beating Ourselves Up

“Though they stumble, they will never fall, for the Lord holds them by hand.” Proverbs 37:24

In life there are past situations that we mull over and wonder, “what were we thinking?” We ruminate and examine other outcomes. These thoughts negatively change the way we view ourselves. For some reason, we will rehash these thoughts even though it can’t help what has already passed.

A friend of mine told a group of us about a mistake he made. I could feel the pain and shame he felt from it. However, it was easily fixable and something that would not cause a lifetime of pain. He just felt it was one of those mistakes that could have been avoided. We have all been there.

His story reminded me of a car accident I had about 10 years ago. I was in a parking lot where there was a Costco and PetsMart. Costco was not open yet, so the parking lot was virtually empty. I parked on an end spot which was next to a cart return.

After I got my items at the pet supply store, I got in the car and drove forward since no one was parked in front of me. Then there was this sound that occurred that I will never forget. I did not realize how close I was to the cart return and I scraped the entire length of my truck. There was a man standing watching me do this to my truck. His has a pained look on his face. As I got out of the truck, he said, “I don’t think you want to see the damage.”

I took my car to the auto body shop to get an estimate. The adjuster asked me what happened. I started to tell him and began crying. He walked over and saw it and went , “oooooh!” The expression on his face described exactly how I felt. I kept telling him, how stupid I felt. He said, “this is the first time I have heard or seen this and it won’t be the last. Please forgive yourself. It is okay, we will fix it.”

It took me awhile to forgive myself but I ultimately did. I realized we all have had a “facepalm” moment. Mulling over them shakes our confidence and causes us to be doubtful about our abilities. As embarrassing and annoying as these mistakes are, it should not define us.

Lessons Learned: Facepalm moments are inevitable. Learn from those mistakes and try not to mull over them. And avoid parking next to the cart return.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, let us learn from our mistakes and not rehash them. Forgive us and heal us from our shame. Let us be able to laugh it off. May our identity be in Christ instead of by our mistakes. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

Have it God’s Way

“The heart of man plan’s his way, but the Lord establishes their steps.”  Proverbs 16:9

“Have it your way” is a saying that advertisers made up for Burger King. The idea is to pick exactly what you want on your burger. Subway and Chipotle have made this the very idea of their food chain. Besides food choices at a restaurant, it seems we want tailor made lives.

This past fall, I was helping my sister-in-law and her friend run the pony rides at the local pumpkin patch. At the end of the ride, we gave out a lollipop to the children who rode the pony. Seems simple enough, but it was one of the craziest things I have seen.

One would have thought that I was handing out an iPhone. Every kid wanted a specific colored lollipop or their parents wanted one for the sibling that didn’t ride the pony. At first, I wanted to accommodate their wants, but when this became time-consuming, I began to just hand it out instead of letting them choose.

It got so bad that this mom began to argue with my sister-in-law because her kid wanted the green lollipop instead of the red one. Well, my sis had no time for that and said, “it’s a lollipop for goodness sakes!” and walked away from the mom.

The mom stood there dumbfounded. I was thinking “has this what society has come to?”

Yet,  I think of God more as a genie in a bottle than as The Almighty. I pray prayers hoping that situations always turn out in my favor or so that my family and I do not experience pain. I want my life tailor-made, comfortable and pain-free.

Allowing God’s will isn’t going to be pain-free. It will be challenging and sometimes, unexplainable. But following His will always turn out to be the best for us.

Lesson Learned: May I freely allow and accept my life to align with God’s will.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, forgive me for asking for every want to be met. Thank you for supplying all of our needs. Show us your way and lead us on the path that you want our lives to be on. Align our hearts and minds to your will. Give us eyes to see and ears to hear your direction. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”

 

You Just Never Know

“Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgement.”
John 7:24

Everyday, we are in contact with the public. Sometimes we have pleasant interactions. Other times we do not (especially when we drive). In the times the interaction is unpleasant you just wonder, “Geez, what is wrong with them?”

In my neighborhood, I have become friends with the morning dog walkers. But some of the dog walkers are the neighborhood gossips. Unfortunately, I get the run down of neighbors and their issues. One lady in particular was bad mouthing another neighbor, who is a good friend of mine. It was hard to hear it and I tried to get out of the conversation as quickly as possible.

I contacted that friend and asked her is everything was okay because I hadn’t seen her walking her dogs in the last few days. She told me a heartbreaking story and I could tell she was overwhelmed. Basically, she was having marital problems due to his husband’s addiction and he had to leave home to seek treatment. They have a child under the age of 1 and she worked full-time, plus she had her 2 dogs and could barely get out to walk them herself.

So, the neighbor who was bad-mouthing her, had no idea of my friend’s current life status and was sore about my friend being curt and seeming to try to leave when they were talking.

How many times when someone has an attitude and you think, “What’s their problem?” Or “Why are they acting so weird today?” They could have lost their parent, spouse or child. Their financial situation could be in distress or have major health issues to deal with. The list goes on.

We shouldn’t be a doormat to abusive behavior, but sometimes in certain situations, we should have grace when someone is rude. Most of the time when I have shown grace, they have apologized afterwards.

In this season of the holidays, let grace be the present we give out the most. You just never know what someone is going through.

Lesson Learned: Instead of taking things personally, try engaging rudeness with grace instead.

Prayer:
“Dear Heavenly Father, I pray for those going through hard times. May they cling to you for strength and comfort. Help us recognize when people are suffering and hurting. Show us ways to help them out. Forgive us for making blanket judgements. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!”