Friday, March 31, 2017
Some of us live our entire lives waiting to fall in love. Is love something we fall into? Something we don't have control over? Something that we just get blown into no matter what our minds may tell us? I sure hope not. I hope we would not give that much control to anything or anyone.
How about happiness? Is that something that we are at the mercy of our circumstances to experience?
How about joy? Are we just blowing around in the wind until we get blown into a major vacation or a stupendous event to experience joy?
I hope and pray we never give that much control over what we define as a feeling. Sure, we may have a lot of chemistry and attraction to certain people more than another, and it may be mistaken as love. But I am suggesting that love is a decision. Chemistry is great but if that's all there is then it's not love.
Love is caring about the needs of another person over your own. Has nothing to do with chemistry. When you have been married a while and the honeymoon is over and your spouse gets up and is fussing about dumb stuff then you don't fall out of love with them that day. Instead, you decide to love them in spite of their unattractive behavior. When they bring you flowers for no reason you don't fall deeper in love with them because their behavior is attractive. You decide to love them more because they put your needs above their own.
When you have a wreck and total your car, you decide to be happy because there were no injuries. When your plans get cancelled that you looked forward to you decide to be happy because it is an opportunity for you to binge watch a show you have wanted to see. You see, it's all about our attitude.
Joy, happiness, and love are not feelings. They are decisions. And the sooner you choose happiness, the sooner you will find peace has crept into your life because you are not allowing false feelings to blow you around like a rag doll. Marriages are not lasting when built upon chemistry. Unless we decide to love that person outside of the chemistry. The decision to Love at the worst of times is actually very attractive. And you feel like you have control over your life rather than being blown around to and fro at the mercy of whatever feels good at the moment. Feelings don't last. Decisions stick.
So young folks, when you look for a mate, pick someone with a bag of faults you can live with. We all have faults and some faults we can't stand. Other faults we can overlook. For example, I couldn't live with someone who spent every dime he had. So I found someone who pinches pennies and accounts for every dime spent. Some people couldn't stand living with someone who makes you account for every dime. Some people can live with an alcoholic. Some can't. Some can live with a boy who has a lot of toys. Some want one more reserved. That is what dating is for. To find out which faults are deal breakers for you and which faults you can overlook. Then when you find someone to marry, you know which faults you can't live with and you pick a person who has faults you CAN live with.
Let's talk about soul mates. No.such.thing. The concept of a soul mate is daunting. To think I have to find the ONE person in the whole world I was meant to be with is obnoxious. I went to Lipscomb and found my mate there. If I had gone to college at Pepperdine I would have found a mate there and been just as happy. I'm not discounting my love for my husband, I'm just saying that love is a decision and we pick from our pool of eligibles that are near our location at the time we are ready to get married. I picked wisely. And I would have picked wisely had I been somewhere else also. Yes, there are some who we can be happier with than others, but if we know which bag of faults we can live with and choose wisely, then we are set up to choose to be happy with our decisions.
Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control are all fruits of the spirit. When we have the Spirit within us then we can choose the fruits of the spirit no matter what circumstances come our way. Desisions decisions.
Make today the best day of your life!
Tuesday, March 28, 2017
I have always heard people say that God gives his most difficult battles to his strongest followers. I have also heard it said that God won't give you more than you can bear. In my old age, lol, I have come to question a lot of things I have heard throughout my life. Like the things I just mentioned.
Are the parents of a special needs child stronger than the average person so they were given a differently abled child? I don't think so. I think those parents are just the same as you and me. I think they received a special needs child and then God molds and grows them into just the right parent to care for the child.
Are God's strongest warriors diagnosed with cancer because they can handle it? I don't think so. I believe cancer strikes folks and then through prayer, God equips them with the strength and determination they need to fight it. It's all a learning experience. You see, we learn to deal with what we are given. None of us are just naturally stronger than another. I believe it all depends on our attitude and willingness to learn through hardship that makes a person stronger than another.
If God truly picked his strongest people to give his hardest battles to, then I believe it would leave those strong people wishing they were not deemed as strong so they wouldn't have to deal with their lot in life. When we are all equally strong and our ability to deal hinges on our attitude toward the lot and our prayerful requests to be equipped to handle such a lot then we don't question "why me", but instead ask "why not me".
When our faith is such that we know we are just an actor in God's screenplay then we can truly count it all joy when we fall into various trials because we know that God will equip us and mold us into the people He wants us to be. It's all a matter of trust in God and faith that He will give us what we need to handle what is given us.
I hope you make today the best day of your life!
Monday, March 27, 2017
I despise stereotypes. Assumptions made about who a person is or what they stand for. Makes me furious when people judge a book by its cover without taking the time to fact check by getting to know the person before deciding what they think about said person. I have a gift of being able to hang with all sorts of people. I am just as comfortable in a tattoo shop as I am at church or at a swanky corporate event. I realize everyone isn't this way so they don't have the opportunity to get to know all sorts of people. If you stay in your same puddle all the time I encourage you to branch out and make friends with all kinds of people. It broadens your horizons and helps you see that there is life beyond the end of your nose. It also helps you burst through stereotypes. The child who was labeled in first grade as a troublemaker has problems overcoming that stereotype if he is never given a fresh start. The homeless person will never overcome his stereotype of no one gives him a nonjudgmental chance. The Christian never has a chance if people think all they will do is condemn you to hell or try to convince you to go sit in a church building. Tattooed people never stand a chance if the first thing you think is that they are a hoodlum. The fact of the matter is that we all could be stereotyped in one category or another on any given day. I feel like part of my purpose on this earth is to shatter stereotypes about people who are heavily tattooed. When I dressed in a full length sequin gown to attend a swanky corporate event with my executive husband, no one would guess that I was heavily tattooed underneath. Am I a thug? No. Are heavily tattooed people thugs? No more than people who don't have a single tattoo. I am 99.9% sure no one in my church of 1500 members is as heavily tattooed as I am. But since they knew me before I got them, they don't think I'm a thug now just because I chose to decorate myself. Just because the first grader misbehaved one year doesn't mean he will the next year. Everyone deserves the benefit of the doubt. I encourage us all to wash our minds of stereotypes on people. To give folks a chance. Heavily tattooed, biker club guys and girls are some of my favorite people and in a pinch they would beat most of my church friends to help me. But I wouldn't know that if I allowed myself to be closed minded and shut off from stereotypes of people. I hate labels. We are all differently abled and no one is stereotypical anything. Don't allow yourself to think anything about anyone until you give yourself a chance to know them. You may learn to agree with me that nothing is stereotypical.
Make today the best day ever!
Make today the best day ever!