Oh, You Need an Attitude Adjustment!!

 

I don’t know about you, but there are days that being a stay-at-home mom is not so appealing. I want to throw in the towel, go lay on the beach by myself somewhere, with no husband and no kids, and just be all alone. Soaking up the peace and quiet. Enjoying the sunshine without kids screaming and my husband tugging on me because he is horny again. And sometimes it seems like those days creep in more than other times. So the other day I asked myself, why is it that there are times when I want to give up being a stay-at-home mom? God answered with, you need an attitude adjustment.

 

Seeing it Through God’s Eyes


So many days I wake up with a check list in my head. I need to get this done and this done and this done and before the day even begins, and then, I am stressed out. There is so much to do and so little time to do it in. Then my kids wake up and they’ll ask me questions or want things and I will get grumpy because I feet like there is already too much on my plate. AWWWW!! (more…)

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Finding Peace in the Midst of Terror

Finding Peace in the Midst of Terror

Every morning when I turn on the television I see death. More people killed at the hands of merciless shadows. The hatred, the lack of grace, the feeling of “well, they deserved it” wells up inside too many people. Why is all of this happening? It’s quite an easy answer, SIN. We all have sin inside of us, no matter what. We all do and say things that we shouldn’t. But how do we go about creating a more peaceful world, is the ultimate question?

Terror All Around Us

In the United States of America the total deaths due to mass shootings is 202. Two hundred and two families lives have been ripped apart. Changed forever. Lives that ended to early.

San Bernadino, California on December 2, 2015, 14 people were slain, while 17 more were injured. Multiple shooters decided to barge into a disability center and open fire.

Kalamazoo, Michigan on February 22, 2016, 6 more innocent victims were claimed. A man without a rational bone in his body went on a seven hour shooting rampage on various victims.

Orlando, Florida on June 13, 2016 painted a scene of pure horror. In the middle of a night club, a man (I don’t care about his name), decided that killing 49 people and wounding at least 53 more, was a good idea.

Dallas, Texas on July 7, 2016, a lone sniper picked off 5 Dallas Police Officers and wounded 7 more. What was suppose to be a peaceful night of protesting, turned into total chaos.

Nice, France on July 14, 2016 a truck rammed through a crowd at the beach, killing at least 80 people. It was Bastille Day, their Independence Day.

It doesn’t matter who, are why they are killing people. It only matters that as a human race that we exam what is really going wrong!!

Pointing the Finger

As I watch the news this past week, I find myself pointing the finger at others, judging them for their actions. How could they do that? Who in their right mind would shoot innocent people? I would NEVER do that? And the blame keeps on rolling.

Blaming others has been mankind’s reaction since the beginning of time.

“The man said, ‘The woman you put here with me–she gave me some fruit from

the tree, and I ate it.’ Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have

done?’ The woman said, ‘ The serpent deceived me, and I ate it.’ ” (Genesis 3″12-13)

Even in the beginning of time, no one wanted to say to God that it was their fault. That maybe if they had done things differently that the outcome would have been better. But, instead they blamed each other and were kicked out of the garden of Eden forever. Death, pain, sin, hurt, feelings, hardship and more came upon man for this one decision.

What if what is going on today is the same thing? What if we took a closer look at what we are doing in our own lives, that contributes to a sinful world?

Look in the Mirror

As much as we would all like to think that we do not judge others, that we do not talk about others behind their backs, that we think pure thoughts all the time, this just isn’t the case. We are human. We are born with sin and sin lives in us all. We all have times where we judge someone before we know the whole situation. We all say things that we shouldn’t say. We all have thoughts that are not pure.

Stop blaming others. Stop pointing the finger. Stop thinking that your opinion is the end all be all for others. Take a look at the person in the mirror and really see who you are.

So how do we go about changing ourselves?

Well, you can’t. It’s like trying to pluck your own eyes out and still see at the same time. Impossible. But there is a way to start seeing the world through a different lens. A lens that allows you to have compassion, empathy and even love others when you do not want to.

God’s Grace and Mercy

There is one thing that helps us to change permanently, It’s called the Holy Spirit. This is a gift from God to you, given by His grace (receiving something when you do not deserve it) and mercy (compassion or forgiveness given to someone who doesn’t deserve it). This is a gift that no one deserves, but our loving God has given it to us anyways.

When you tell God that you believe that His one and only son, Jesus, died for you on the cross, the Holy Spirit comes to live in you.

“and the Holy Spirit descended on Him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice

came from heaven: ‘You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well

pleased.’ ” (Luke 3:22)

This gift allows us to truly change who we are from the inside out. To start seeing the world the way that God sees it.

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in

this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old

has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave

us the ministry of reconciliation:” (2 Corinthians 5:16-18)

Reconciliation means the restoration of a relationship. Due to our sin, our relationship with God was broken. Through Christ’s death, our relationship with God has been restored. God’s grace and mercy allowed us to no longer be enemies of God, but to be part of His family. To be loved, taken care of and even helped when we still do not deserve it.

So how does having the Holy Spirit living in you, help you to change?

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old

has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

When we live by our everyday wants and needs, we tend to be selfish. We find ourselves wanting what we want and thinking about others less. But, when you live by the Holy Spirit, things begin to change. You love others, even when you do not want to. You find yourself thinking about ways to help others. You will even notice that the sinful ways that you lived by before, begin to melt away. All of this happens when the Holy Spirit comes to live in you.

“And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he has

identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption.” (Ephesians 4:30)

”   12So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness,

humility, gentleness and patience; 13bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint

against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. 14Beyond all these things put on love,

which is the perfect bond of unity. 15Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were

called in one body; and be thankful.16Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom

teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,

singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17Whatever you do in word or deed,

do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.” (Colossians 3:12-17)

Having a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience, will come about when you begin to love others. Waking up everyday, reading God’s word and allowing His wisdom to penetrate your day, leads to a true understanding of what love means. If we all took the time to love other through grace and mercy, then a tide of peace and understanding would penetrate our land.

There are a lot of times that I do not understand why someone did what they did, or even agree with their opinion on the situation, but, that doesn’t mean that I get to love them any less. I have to take the time to listen, to truly open my mind and pray to God to help me in those situations where I am truly ignorant to what is going on. To let the Holy Spirit fill me with Jesus’ peace and let me see the world through God’s eyes.

So instead of pointing the finger at others this week about the horrible situations that we see on the news, lets start with ourselves. Take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Do I need God??” Because if you do, like we all do, then take the time to tell Him that you believe that His son Jesus died for us. Thank Him for loving you even when you didn’t deserve it. Ask for the Holy Spirit to come live within you and to help you to love others, even when it is hard.

If you are a Christian who feels like you can’t even hear God anymore, or maybe you wonder if the Holy Spirit still lives within you, take the time right now to tell God, “Sorry for the way that I have lived lately. I do not put you first in my life. Please fill me with the Holy Spirit. Help me to live my life for you. Help me to put you first, by reading the Bible everyday, praying for everything in my life and listening for your words to guide me in my life.” Then wait to see what happens.

Come on, lets all change the world, one loving Holy Spirit at a time.

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Letting Go and Letting God Be The Parent

Letting Go and Letting Go Be The Parent

One of the hardest things to do in life is to be a parent. I have read plenty of books on the idea of parenting. But, nothing can prepare you for when a child struggles with something that you can not help them with.

Teenage Years

This past week I have watched my teenage daughter struggle in ways that has brought me to tears. Between boyfriend issues, a lot of tests at school and other obstacles, she has been a mess. I have tried to talk to her, hold her, just let her know that I am there for her. I have talked with grandparents, aunts and uncles about just showering her with love and attention. I don’t want her to feel alone, nothing has seemed to help.

So what do you do when you are out of your element, ask for help. I do not feel that I am capable of helping her with some of the emotional issues that are arising. She says that her emotions get so BIG that thoughts of suicide have crossed her mind. That feelings of just ending it all to make the pain go away, keep coming. This is no joke. I have gone from scared to sad to angry in the past few days. Now I am just exhausted.

Dealing With More Than You Can Handle

This past Monday I took her to a medical center for a mental evaluation. We were there for a little over 7 hours. They did a lot of medical examinations, including, chest x-rays, EKG, blood tests, and more. They didn’t find anything wrong, so they sent her to the psychologist, for a mental evaluation. She looked so upset and embarrassed. She kept saying that everyone was going to think that she was crazy now. I just kept explaining that we all need help sometimes and that getting help is better than bottling it all up inside and pretending that you are okay when your not.

The look on her face was heart breaking. I wanted to just grab her arm and run out the door with her. To take her somewhere where she could feel safe and loved again. Some place where I felt like I had more control in her life again. But, what would that solve. NOTHING!!! So I made myself calm down, put on a smile and started talking about anything in life that might make her smile.

After about an hour in the mental evaluation room, the psychologist came out to talk to me. She asked me if I had any concerns and I told her about how she said that her emotions would get so big that she thought about suicide. That it scared her. I told her about what was going on in her life that was causing stress. I then asked her straight up, if there were any red flags that she noticed. You see, my daughter is the child that gets good grades, helps others, is loved by her teachers, is honest, and wants to do well in life. I hadn’t seen her grades drop, her friends hadn’t changed, and nothing else in her life warranted a red flag to pop up. I was confused as to how to help her or what was going on.

The psychologist proceeded to tell me that she didn’t see any red flags either. That sometimes between hormones and other stressors, that their emotions just change. That’s great, but it still didn’t help me figure out what to do to help her. So I told the psychologist that what was going on with my daughter was out of my element and that I didn’t know how to help her anymore. She said, all that I could to was be there for her. To really listen to her. And to seek the help of a counselor.

So that is what we are doing. The hard part is that I think she forgot the most important part of all, the powerful element of GOD!!

God’s Role in All of This!!

God already knows what is going to happen way before we do. We can choose to obey and follow His plan, or we can try to make a path of our own. The second idea usually ends up with something bad happening, trust me I know.

So as I left the medical center this week and headed home, I just kept praying. Praying to God that He would have to be in charge of this situation. That He is the best parent for what is going on and that I would follow His lead.

I don’t want to go through this alone. I don’t want to fell helpless and afraid as her parent. And with God I do not have to.

“I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:13-14)

“Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.” (Psalm 37:5)

“”For I am the LORD your God, who upholds your right hand, Who says to you, ‘Do not fear, I will help you.'” (Isaiah 41:13)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving

let your requests be made known to God.” (Philippians 4:6)

“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)

In the midst of a parenting storm, rely on Him. Know that our God is stronger than we will ever be. That He cares for us and loves our children more than we can ever imagine. That in Him we find peace and strength to keep moving on, trying to be the best parents that we can be.

If you are struggling with how to help your child, STOP right now and pray to God. Tell Him that you can no longer do this alone. That you need Him to step in and take control. That you are waiting on Him. That you trust Him and will follow Him in this situation.

Then, just sit back, be still and know that our God WILL provide a solution, if we just wait, listen and obey. Even though this is one of the hardest things to do in life, it is essential to our sanity, to our children turning out to be a Godly person, to our whole relationship with our kids.

Please comment below, how God has helped you as a parent. Or, how we may pray for you in your struggles as a parent.

May peace and strength be with you today and the days to come. God bless.

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How Our World Views Peace!!

How Our World Views Peace!!

Our idea of a peaceful world is one absent from conflict. This definition seems a little bit insane. There will always be conflict in our life. We can try to run away from it, but it will still find us. So if we know that the absence of conflict in our life is impossible, why is that our view on what peace really means?

Here are different ways that people deal with conflict. Learning to have different strategies for different situations in life will help all of us to get along more and create a more peaceful place to live. Eventually leading us all to learn how to “lovefront” with others.

Different Ways to Deal With Conflict

There are 5 different ways that people deal with conflict.

  1. Right-Wrong – This is where there is always one person who is right in the conflict and one person is wrong. There is black and white and no gray area about the situation. They see there conflict as a competition. They think that the person that disagrees with them is automatically wrong. There is no flexibility in this situation. This situation is very low on cooperativeness. The outcome is usually a harsh situation in which the relationship suffers.
  2. Avoidance – On the opposite side of the spectrum is someone that wants avoid conflict altogether. They assume that all conflict is bad for the relationship, so they spend a lot of time keeping the peace at all cost. Sometimes this approach is a good idea, when the situation is not important enough to argue about. Other times it can be very harmful to the person who is avoiding the conflict. They might have feelings of anger or sadness about the situation that they are holding onto inside. This can cause personal damage to that person as well as well as to the relationship. People who avoid conflict altogether usually have superficial relationships that never grow deeper than surface level.
  3. Giving-In – This person gives into the stronger person to keep the peace in the relationship. These people tend to be a “people-pleaser.” Being someone who gives in is a good idea when you need to keep the peace in a situation. Overuse of this type of conflict resolution can lead to being taken advantage of or people not listening to your point of view anymore. This strategy if overused can lead to a relationship where one person is in charge all the time and the other person is the push over. This type of relationship is unhealthy. The hard part is knowing when to give in and when to stand your ground.
  4. Compromise – These are people that realize that their point of view will not always win in a conflict. They tend to think that everyone needs to give a little sometimes in order for others to give back as well. This is a good strategy when both sides are really heated about their view points and nobody seems to want to budge. The art of learning to agree to disagree. This type of strategy means that both sides must be willing to compromise and meet in the middle, and that is not always possible. This can lead to both parties being unhappy because they had to settle on their view point and come to a decision that doesn’t seem right to them. Also, overuse of this strategy creates cyncism and low trust because you are always giving in.
  5. Lovefronting – Instead of confronting people in a harsh way, you let them know that you disagree with their view point in a loving way. This takes time and effort. It is okay to NOT agree with others around you,  but if they are sinning it is NOT okay to stay quiet (Matthew 18:15-17). This is where we as Christians get ourselves into trouble. We think that this verse gives us a pass to say what we feel at all times. Jesus didn’t throw people “under the bus,” for their incorrect actions. He would tell them that what they were doing was wrong in a way that helped them to grow in a new direction. Sometimes he even took the time to help them change their ways. Instead of just telling someone, “your wrong,” think about how you could help them to change their view point. If nothing works, just keep praying for them. Everyone is different in this world and I think that we need to go about changing it in LOVE rather than through conflict.

How About You??

Everyone has conflict in their life. How you deal with it tells you what kind of life you will have. The right kind of conflict resolution can lead to deeper and stronger relationships.

Which kind of conflict resolution strategy do you find you use the most? How can you start to implement different kinds of strategies and ultimately use the Lovefronting strategy more? Please comment below.

 

 

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