Sunday Reflections

When the things of the world seem uncertain or out of control or when your own life feels like it is spiraling, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to push an exit button and just hide away from everything for a little while??

We all know life isn’t like that. 

When I look back at some of my greatest times of growth in my life, I recall the challenging circumstances that embodied those times. Those times were often painful times of taking things one step at a time.

I heard a Christmas sermon a few years ago about joy and pain coexisting. I think they do. It is often a matter of perspective and self reflection. This verse comes to mind…

Consider it pure joy my brothers and sisters when you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete not lacking anything.      James 1:2-4 NIV

I have spent some time the past few days reflecting over a conversation I had with someone. Admittedly, I was in a hurry, needing to work my way through a “to do” list when I had spoken with her. I didn’t realize until later that my non-verbal communication communicated just that…I was in hurry. She interpretted this as she was inconveniencing me and taking time from me she was unworthy of deserving.  

I am choosing to use this interaction as an opportunity for me to self-reflect. Life is busy. Life is messy. Life often does not go as planned. Since there is no exit button of temporary escape, how can I endure the pain and embrace the joy simultaneously? In those times when I am feeling overwhelmed, how can I make my interactions with others meaningful despite my own issues?

True, there are times when we need lifted up and supported, but how can we lift up and support others through our own struggles? 

I want to be that person that encourages, coaches, lifts up, and slows down. I am not always that person. The lessons I am taking away from my interaction with this woman are…

1. Every interaction matters.

2. Our non-verbal communication often communicates louder than our spoken words.

3. Everyone has a story and that story often impacts our communication.

4. Slow down. 

5. Perception is reality.

5. Everyday trials hold lessons from God to grow us.

6. Just listen. Listen attentively. Listen a lot. 

Keep Calm. Trust God.

Friday night. Already. It seems like the weeks keep flying by. This morning in morning meeting, our administrator said….Wow, we made it another week. We survived😃

As I drove home from a Costco trip tonight after work with a birthday cake in tow, I thought Wow, I did make it. I know God has been carrying me through the week, day by day, moment by moment.

After the Casting Crowns concert last weekend, I downloaded their new album to my phone. I have been listening to their music to and from work during my long commute. The words really resonate with my anxiety struggles right now.

In God of All my Days, there is a line…

In my worry, God You are my stillness.

Stillness. Stillness is what I need. My mind needs stillness. My body needs stillness.

Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10

That is all I truly need to know right now. As a visual person, though, I appreciate visual reminders.

The bracelet I ordered from Tatum Bradley company came today. 

Keep calm. Trust God. 

Life changing, life breathing words I need.

When I feel anxious, I can look at these words, rely on the integrity of God’s Word, take a deep breath, and take one step forward… calm and trusting.

Words

Yesterday morning, I stepped off the treadmill and saw a tiny post it note on my wooden floor. It was crumpled a bit, forgotten about.

I picked it up intending to pitch it in the wastebasket. I paused, read the words. My own writing. Powerful words I had written. At some point. But for this point in time.

Words infused a strength.

I paused for a moment, snapped a picture of the little note. Unsure of the day, the reason I had scrawled the words across the note…no doubt so I would remember them for a moment such as this.

Infuse….to fill, pervade, to cause something to be added

I thought of an exchange of words with someone I had had over the weekend. Were they life breathing words? Did they fill the person with strength? The answer would have to be no, my words did not.

As I read my little note again, I reflected..  listening is powerful but so is the power of the words we express in return. Are they life giving or life zapping? Do my words fill others with strength or something else?

Scripture speaks of guarding our tongue, of being mindful of the words leaving our mouth in so many verses.

A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit. Proverbs 15:4

Gracious words are like honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body. Proverbs 16:24

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

May our words infuse strength today in others and for others as well as ourselves.

Don’t let the sun set on your anger. There is such power in healing words of forgiveness.  A simple I’m sorry, I love you…infuses healing strength.

Words…such powerful things…