Category Archives: Relationships

{Stories}

We’re sitting across from each other, cradling a Kurtz Orchard coffee mug, looking out across the lake. The weak winter sun struggling to warm the ice.

“I just want to tell you my stories”

I shift, trying to get uncomfortable, a hopeless task on these wooden dining room chairs.

“Life is just a moment, when you look at it with the big picture” Grandma pauses, starts to spell out on the table in front of her. “S. T. O…” “Stories?” “Yes, stories. They are important–they just keep coming back to me. Stories about my lover”

This name, Lover, not a name I am accustomed to hearing my Grandfather called. But since his passing, she has taken to call him, ‘My Lover’ instead of the familiar ‘Dad’ I had grown up hearing. She misses him. She misses her Lover.

“He would write me every day–no every other day while he was in the Service” *Pause* “But I destroyed those letter–He should never have to relive those memories–the men would be screaming in pain, the throng of wounded being lifted off the airplanes. Everything was g0-go-go all the time. Those things must have affected Dad.”

I nod in agreement, I can only imagine the emotional scars of being a medical tech during war time.

“When he had one week leave to come home, that’s when we decided” “Decided what?” “To be lovers”

She pauses, searching for the right words. “He told me that he was going into the ministry and if I couldn’t handle being a preacher’s wife–well I better tell him now so we could break it off”

She looks at me with an astonished face, an expression she does so well. “What do you think of that?”

“Well I think you made the right choice.”

“Well I certainly hope so” She laughs, fiddles with the coffee mug, lost in her own reflection. She misses him. She misses her “Lover”

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{Attitude}You Decide

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Warning Warning:: Foul Mood Alert

Don’t you wish there were days you could hang this sign up or wear a t-shirt that warned everyone…Stay Away, I’m incredibly cranky & may potentially bite your head off.

But unfortunately….Your attitude is something you decide.

When you get out of bed, you put on the attitude you want for the day.

Cranky ::I can choose to be grateful

Sad ::I can choose to rejoice in the goodness of the Lord

Sensitive ::I can choose to give people the benefit of the doubt

Negative ::I can choose to look at all that I have & be thankful

Worried ::I can choose to trust that the Savior holds my future

Frustrated ::I can choose to walk in the Spirit & allow Him to guide my actions

Whatever the “feelings” of the day are telling me to believe, I know that I have the Ultimate Source for Truth.

I can be confident in my identity in Christ.

My foul attitude is not a death sentence, for bad moods come. My foul attitude is a challenge, a trial, a chance to focus on the Truth & to change it.

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I Wanna Change the World

I wanna change the world….

….but I’m not willing to stop and change one person’s day.

This thought stopped me in my tracks.

{Confession} It occurred to me after I didn’t smile at someone who I knew needed a friendly smile & an encouraging word.

But instead, I glanced away, attempting to look busy, maybe if I look stressed then it’s acceptable not to reach out…

 

But it’s not.

Everyone you interact with needs to be shown love and encouraged.

Everyone you interact with is fighting a battle, you can’t ignore that.

You can change the world for one person at a time.

Changing the world is a lofty and noble goal, but the big picture needs to be made into specific goals.

Step One: Smile -at everyone!

Step Two: Say Hello -be genuine, ask how people are doing and wait for the answer!

Step Three: Remember that people are more important then deadlines & schedules

 

so change the world, with every interaction

 

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Son of Encouragement

Barnabas 

We first meet Barnabas selling his property to help those in need (Acts 4:36) His given name was Joses, but he was re-named Barnabas by the apostles, which means Son of Encouragement. Barnabas lived a life that encouraged others.

Barnabas was an encouragement to Paul. When Paul converted to Christ on the road to Damascus the Jews were not at all excited to accept him (for obvious reasons since he was known as a Jew killer). But Barnabas stood along side Paul, he supported, he was an encouragement while others rejected Paul.

Barnabas was an encouragement to his nephew(or cousin?) Mark. He gave Mark a second chance. He stood along side and he supported Mark, even when Paul rejected Mark.

Barnabas was an encouragement when others gave up on people.

{Who are you encouraging today?} 

 

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On Purity

What’s the image that comes to mind when someone says the word Purity?

Is it a peaceful, clear, cold mountain stream? Is it a white rose? A purity ring? No sex? Amish Living?

The list could go on; there are many ways a mind can go when the topic of Purity is brought up.

{Purity} “The condition of being pure” 

{Pure} “Free of dirt, pollution, and impurities; virginal, sinless, chaste” 

Purity is so much more than outward. Purity is a life-style, a condition. 

What does a life-style of purity look like?

Are you pure?

As I muse on the subject of purity I am sure more rambles will appear on the blog.

What are your thoughts? What do you think of when someone mentions purity?

Do you desire to be pure? Is it something that is overrated? Is it to hard in today’s world?

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Pops

I know it’s a few days after Father’s Day, but hey I’ve always held to “better late than never”

I love my Pops, so so so much!

I know lots of people may say they have the best Dad, but they are {inadvertently} lying because I have the best Dad in the world.

He gives of himself daily. He love people.

My Dad is a Christ-like example in all areas of his life.

He loves {unconditionally}

He speaks the truth

He gives advice

He teaches, he encourages, he corrects

He is the person I quote most often.  {Insert multiple snarky responses}

My Father is really just the best.

I have learned so much from Him, I continue to learn from Him.

His example and His love have pointed me to Christ & A true relationship with my God.

Thank you Pops for being you & for being my Dad

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A Vision

Do you have a vision? Not like a vision in the sense of “i saw people in white descending from the clouds” {if that has happened to you, well you may want to schedule a doctor’s appointment}

A vision, a direction, a goal if you will. But I think vision is so much more.

Vision in-compasses all that you want to be, all that you hope to accomplish, and even what you want to be remembered for. More like a mission statement. A direction you want your life to be headed. A way to make your life meaningful.

What is your vision?

My vision is related to relationships. I feel that relationships are an area that I can excel in. A vision can be any area of life, but remember in the end people are what matter.

My vision is to build relationships, encourage those around me, and help people to grow into who they want to become. See their vision, encourage them to develop it, and help them accomplish it. My vision is to impact those around me for Christ.

Do you have a vision?

 

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It’s {NOT} about Me

“it’s not about you”

words to live by.

Many times {a day} I find myself whining ~either out-loud or just internally~

“I don’t feel like it”

I see someone I should talk to; I don’t feel like talking

I see someone I should encourage; I don’t feel like verbalizing encouragement

I see someone I should reach out to; I just sit on my bum & do nothing

I see something I should be doing; I quickly distract myself with something inconsequential

“I don’t feel like it” rolls off my tongue

The decision not to do something is rooted in the desire to serve self.

My needs and desires comes before the needs of others.

It becomes all about me~

But it shouldn’t…it’s {NOT} about Me.

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On Judging

 

{my all time favorite book} Pride & Prejudice 

There are many many lessons to be learned from this book.

Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth both judge each other from a distance.

They make their conclusions and proceed to place each other in a box.

The make assumptions, jump to conclusions, and judgments are passed.

Are you judgmental? I am.

I see people and instantly know I have them figured out.

I see what people are wearing and make snap decisions about their character.

I hear what people talk about so obviously I know their heart.

I judge…a lot.

It’s amazing how people change when you take the time to get past the judgement and get to know them.

Assumptions…well we all know what those do ;)

and I love how people “improve on closer acquaintance” {Elizabeth Bennett ~P&P}

stop the judging; take the time to get to know people 

 

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On Guarding Your Heart

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket- safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.” ~C. S. Lewis

The phrase “guard your heart” often crosses my lips.

Guard your heart, be careful, don’t get hurt

But guarding your heart does not mean that we lock it away, never open it to anyone with the fear of being hurt.

I remember one bleak day while driving to work and pondering life events I found myself whining to God “lock my heart up in a cage; I’m sick of this hurt and I don’t want to be hurt any more” Instantly I was convicted. That prayer was incredibly selfish! I didn’t want pain in my life, I didn’t want hurt, so I wanted to God to lock my heart away. Terrible.

Love means having to open yourself up to people. Putting other people before yourself. The exact opposite of the prayer I was praying.

Let’s be honest…none of us like pain. And there are lots of different types of pain, {physical, spiritual, emotional} and none of them are pleasant to experience.

As humans we will all hurt someone around us. As much I may try there are moments in the day when the flesh takes over, a word spoken, an action done, that will cause someone I love pain.

We cannot live our lives hiding from the pain of relationships.

Painful—Yes, but not unbearable. We learn from the pain, we grow from the pain, we help others, learn humility, becomae more sensitive to the needs of others around us.

Jesus opened himself up to pain by allowing the 12 disciples (most of whom were teenagers) to follow Him around in His ministry, knowing that they would desert Him in His hour of need. He loved them even though they hurt Him. He loved them and encouraged them to grow.

As a leader there will be many times when we are hurt by those we trusted, torn down by those we mentored, but we cannot solve this by locking the heart in a cage.

Ministry will not happen when a heart is not open. It will become self-focused and hard.

So yes, guard your heart–against yourself.

Lord, help my guard my heart so that my actions bring honor and glory to You.

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