The Funny Truth of “At Me” Living

I am a huge fan of Momastery’s Glennon Doyle Melton. I crack up at all of the “why didn’t I think of that”? moments that I have when I read her blog. Because I have thought them a million times!

     But the one truth of Glennon’s that is so true for me is the “At Me” moments.
You are serving your kiddo’s a Happy Meal or a Lunchable or some other, “I am doing this because I am truly time and energy starved at the moment” meal. And someone whips out her organic left overs from last night, served in an environmentally, sustainable container for her kiddos. This should not bother me. But, my insecurities take over. I want to so badly say: “Would you please stop healthy, organic eating “At Me”? Or, would you please stop your: I’m on my 5th vacation this year pictures on Face Book “At Me”. Or my personal favorite: Stop, at once, your: I drive a Mercedes SUV “At Me”!

   Ok, truth is no one wakes up in the morning with the sole ambition to rock my little world. They have their own “At Me’s” to deal with. But when I am having an exceptionally insecure day, week, month, year, it sure seems like the entire universe is out to “At Me”.

     So next month, I am attending the wedding of a dear friend in Florida. I am bringing my camera. We will also be taking darling daughter to Disney World for her birthday. I am bringing my camera. Will I try to “At Me” all of my friends on Face Book? No doubt about it.

     Love, Peace, Joy………………………………

       

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The Follow Up to Love

I have always thought, and still do that love is the “greatest of these”. Without love we cannot have empathy, compassion or move into action to help others. Love is crucial to our well-being, as well, it is crucial to life in a civilized society. But what could come right after love in the hierarchy of needs? R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

The church pastor from my child-hood put it so perfectly: “You can grow to love someone you respect, but you cannot necessarily grow to respect someone just because you love them”. This hit me like a ton of bricks. What is the missing element in many relationships? Respect. Having regard for what someone else finds important. I don’t say this loosely, not at all. Anyone who has spent any time at all on planet earth, will have seen or been in situations where respect was not a high priority.

With family and friends, in church, etc. There may be love and fondness to spare, but many times I notice that the way we treat one another does not convey the love we may feel. I catch myself doing this too often. I have to remember love is a verb, an action word.

Am I listening, really hearing others like I should? Or, am I giving my opinion, when all the person really needed was to be heard? Do I find myself correcting others chronically? Do I have to say SOMETHING, anything after someone else makes a statement. I certainly hope I don’t do this one too often, as this particular one drives me up the wall! : )

What I have observed in my own life is this: some of these habits and traits are generational. Like so many things in our lives, breaking cycles of any type of dysfunction takes first knowing that the dysfunction is there. None of us comes from perfect families. No matter how much of a front we try to put up. And most families truly love one another, no matter how many imperfections we share.

So how am I going to improve my “respectability”? Well Paul put it pretty clearly in Philippians 2:3. Think more highly of others than we do ourselves. This does not mean I will become a door mat or a scapegoat. Quite the contrary, the more highly we regard ourselves the more capacity we will have to highly regard others. At least that has been my experience. I catch my self (sometimes) coming across too harshly when giving an instruction. How do I sound to the recipient of my words? Is it how I would like to be spoken to? Sometimes, I would have to say, no. Not at all. How we speak to others many times takes re-learning and a lot of effort. I believe it is worth the time to re-learn these things. There is a wake we leave behind us. That wake can be to the determent or benefit of the people we care for the most.

Respect goes far beyond our homes and families. If we say we are Christians, and some of us do in this society. How are we respecting people who may be completely different from us? Are we motivated by love and respect? Or are we motivated by a need to be right and better than someone else? It is so easy to do. Post something on face book that trashes an entire group of people. People who God loves every bit as much as he loves me. Not respectful. If we remain silent in a group that may be harshly de-valuing others. I need to speak up respectfully. One of my favorite Proverbs in the Bible: Proverbs 25:11 ” A word fitly spoken, is like apples of gold in settings of silver”. Awesome.

My responsibility to others is to respect them for who they are. I am not the holy spirit, I can’t change one thing about anybody. That is not my job. Becoming more Christ-like is my job. If Christ laid down his life for me, then I can certainly treat the others around me ( that he also laid down his life for) with love and respect.

I cannot truly love someone, it would not ring true, if I don’t show them the respect they deserve.

Human/Christian

It’s Sunday morning. I am sitting at my computer wondering if I am going to get in the shower and get ready for church. Wondering IF I am going to go to church is very unusual. I rarely miss. Not because I am so pious, that the mere thought of missing church makes me shudder. I just really do need to hear from God through my preacher, weekly. It improves the Christian walk and all.

No, it was kind of a week when being with other Christians was a scary place to be. For me and them. I know we are all human. Even after Christ enters a life, we are still “bound by the flesh” and will mess up on a very regular schedule. I know this as sure as I breathe. I am one such flawed human/Christian. I need to bow my head hourly to confess and repent. Really.

     But, this past week was a doozy. Spiritual war-fare, perhaps. People being people. Probably. I need to move way past this, but I am just a teeny bit shy of reaching that goal.  So here is the dilemma: Do I stop wondering if I am going to get in the shower, apply my make-up and then apply my I am “happier than a pig in mud” Sunday morning face? Or, Am I going to stand in line at the Pancake Pantry with the shorts and t-shirt clad minions, and get my short stack?

Church won. Prayed, sang and begged God to help me with my hurts and grievances. He will, this I know. But it never hurts to add a little padding to the beginning of the week. Strong coffee, scripture and maybe a chat with a good friend. Happy Monday! 

The Down Side of Summer

princess-toe_lSummer is almost here! Yea! I love summer. But with everything we love there must be a little down side. Bugs. Bugs are the down side of warm sunshine, swimming and lemonade. I say this due to my face to face encounter with the “Gigantic Middle Tennessee Spider” last night. This is not the scientific name, but it should be. I almost crossed the front door threshold with trash bag in hand. Almost. There it was, face to face. Actually it was facing side ways. Bunny trail. Scream, slamming of door and throwing of trash bag. After my deep, labored breathing subsided I called darling daughter down stairs for a “look see”. I needed proof of the size of this baby. I needed back up so that when I tell my bug horror stories I have a witness.( no one is going to one up me on bug stories or labor and delivery stories). Darling daughter was impressed and trotted back upstairs to continue painting her nails. No back up on the extermination. It’s just me and big harry guy. I used the flip-flop smashing method as it was my nearest exterminating tool. Very effective.

I left my exterminator a message that went something like this: Hey! Yes. I just killed a gigantic spider on my front porch. I saved the remains( the exterminator types actually like it when you save them visuals I have learned). There is a plague on my house, call me in the morning. I actually said this and sincerely meant it at the time. I suppose I was a tad over the top. But, this was not my first rodeo with the “Gigantic Middle Tennessee Spider”. No. Our first summer in middle Tennessee, I walk into my kitchen and see Toby, my cocker spaniel tossing something into the air. For a brief moment I thought it was a chew toy. Not a chew toy. I yell. Toby drops “it”. “It” was the GMTS! All I have in my arsenal at the time is wasp spray. Message to self: wasp spray only stuns the GMTS, it does not kill them. Broom handle method was the final method of extermination this go round.

Exterminator guy arrives today, wants to see the scene of the kill. As he squats down to look, he does something that makes me cringe:he picks up the squashed remains! After he carefully examines the shriveled leftovers he states, with a note of sadness:” you killed one of the good ones”. What is the name of this “good” arachnoid? Wood tarantula. Tarantula? The stuff horror stories are made of? Yep. Wood tarantula. Now I know scientifically, spiders eat insects, this is good. Keeps nature in balance and all. I am all for balance. But, last night it was me or big harry guy. I had the flip-flop, I won. And whose side are you on anyway exterminator guy? Exterminator guys does his exterminating thing. Relief. I half-heartedly tell him I will try to shoo the “good ones” out into the yard with a broom next time. Now, mind you, and I am not proud of this, but I am quite sure I broke one of the ten commandments when I told him this. I love summer. Lemonade anyone?

I Am So Stuck

coconut-mousse_lYou know the old and odd commercial. An old woman falls and she famously calls out: “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” I said it was old, not funny………….Well I have one of my own: “Help! I’m stuck and I can’t get unstuck!”

This is so how I feel about blogging. Everyday for the past couple of weeks I look at my blog and see something staring back at me that has not changed or been updated for quite some time. Now, I sincerely know that I am not Pioneer Women or Momestary or the like, but yes, oh how I would love to be. And I know the world ( not even my little world) is waiting with bated-breath for my amazing revelations and insights. But, I do feel some level of responsibility to my fledgling little blog. The poor neglected thing.

Part of my problem is my complete lack of technology. For me, Facebook and email is about a far as it goes in the land of techno. Dear Hubbie is a traveling man, so my techno genius is gone way too much to get me savvy on these issues. And quite honestly, I start to hear white noise if things get too challenging, technology speaking.

So badly do I want to be “that” blog with the beautiful recipes, lovely photos and words of wisdom. How I covet the seductive photo’s of six layer coconut cake and slightly browned chicken pot pie. You know the photo’s with the “fuzzy” back grounds on beautiful milk glass with a Martha “Stewartesque” quality to it all. Sigh.

So pray for me people, you few who might be reading this silly little entry. Pray I stop hearing white noise when doing an online tutorial or reading an instructional manual, as, I would truly rather eat worms. (Oh yes, and pray for world peace too, as this may be a tad higher on the hierarchy of needs).

So, if you see that I have installed a recipe “plug in” or you see a photo with that coveted “fuzzy” background, realize that I have broken free, had an answer to prayer and actually read a “how to manual” without getting all glassy eyed. Love, Peace and Joy!