It’s really easy to get an idea of what we would LIKE for our legacy to be. Living that legacy, well, that can be another story, right? Just like everything else in parenting, easier said than done.
So how can we set those examples before our children and others?
Well, first of all, we must strive daily to NOT be a “Do as I say, not as I do” parent. Telling our children to live one way while we live another is obviously not the way to achieve a Godly legacy.
Second, if we want our children to grow up and have meaningful relationships we must show them that by our example also. Being a true friend, a loving wife, a good daughter, etc are all ways for them to learn how to interact with others on their own. If we talk trash behind others backs, hold grudges, allow our husbands to put us down or abuse us emotionally or physically, disrespect our husbands, and argue consistently with our families then our children will believe that these actions are acceptable. Plain and simple. When your kids are grown and they shine in their relationships, I guarantee someone is going to say “They must have had a really fantastic mother.” Seriously.
I have to remind myself of these things EVERY day. I am human, and sometimes I have to stop myself and say “Hey! Don’t be a hypocrite! Little eyes are watching you, as are those of others who expect you to be what you say, a Christian. Shape up!”
Thankfully, with diligent prayer and discipline, we can do our best and bring up our children to know the Lord and live his ways… I’m going to try my hardest. Will you?
Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6 NKJV
Every time I go to a particular store, there is always this one woman whom I desperately try to avoid. She never has anything good to say and everything is so depressing. It is Eeyore in the flesh!
There are so many people in today’s society, that are like this. Raw. Hurt. Their share of fairness went to someone else. These are the ones who need to be shown love the most. Those who have been so hurt that the walls are built so high and tight around their hearts, that no one is allowed in, under any circumstance! I know. I’ve been there.
She doesn’t need me to shun her. She needs to see the love of Jesus in me. To know that she matters to the Kingdom. Sometimes it takes love and understanding from someone else, before others can start to see that there is love in others and a reason to be.
The New Testament states over and over again, to love one another and to treat others as you would treat yourself.
We will always have that one person, or 2 or 6, that is going to be difficult to show love to. Just keep in mind that you have never walked a mile in their shoes and you don’t know for sure why they are the way they are. Ask God to teach you how to love them.
Sometimes you can hold your head up for so long before the weight becomes too much to bare. You can put up a strong front and pretend that nothing bothers you. Then, when something happens or is said, that glass comes shattering down around you.
It’s a simple fact that everyone you love is not going to love you back. Some will love you unconditionally, while others down you like a dog. They will put the knife in your back and twist it a few time to make sure it hurts. Then they will come and pour salt into your open wound. When in actuality, they are not happy with themselves or their circumstances, therefore, they will make sure that no one else is happy either. Whether they are jealous over a certain situation, over your family relationship, over your friendship with someone, anything in general, or just want to be the top dog with everyone, we have to continue to love and pray for those who despitefully use us.
So go ahead and love and pray, it will eventually get easier to handle if it doesn’t change. Be the better person and go on with your life. You can’t make someone else enjoy theirs.
A friend loves at all times… Proverbs 17:17 NKJV
This calling is a rather obvious one… but I would like to still touch on the topic of friendship.
What does it mean to be a true friend? Is it just a social thing? Obviously, it is not. If it were, we would not become so emotional when a friend is lost. Does it mean to be dependable? How about caring? Being a good listener? Offering advice when requested? Understanding and compassionate? I think all of those things and so much more are what make a good friend.
How many times have you been having a bad day, but a good friend called and you instantly cheered right up? I know for me, personally, I have just a few friends that I can vent to. Isn’t it nice to have someone who you can rant to and know that they won’t think differently of you for it? How about knowing you have someone praying for you when you need it? Or a friend who will be honest when your hair color washes you out and you’re jeans make you look great? And of course, it’s great to know you can turn to someone, pour your heart out, and know that anything you tell them won’t be passed on to someone else.
We should always strive to be a good friend, not a mediocre one. We can’t be perfect, but we should try to not be flaky, negative, or distant. Reliable, uplifting, close, and available as much as possible.
What are some ways you can minister to a friend though?
Remember, you can’t choose your family… You CAN choose your friends… CHOOSE WISELY!!! Never let anyone walk all over you in the name of “friendship.” Show God’s love, yes. Be a door mat, no.
And now, in honor of Karen and her love for nostalgic television, I leave you with this… Get the cheesecake!
14 “For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.15 But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:14-15 NKJV
Last week I wrote on grieving. Sometimes, once we have completed that step we realize we need to forgive in order to be able to move on.
Forgiveness is rarely easy to just hand out. It can be a struggle to let go of anger and hurt that is rightfully felt. Especially if the forgiveness needs to be given to someone who does not care, denies their fault, is unknown, clueless of their action, or did something unbearably horrible.
Something equally difficult is forgiving ourselves. It is often said that we are our own worst critics. Isn’t that the truth? I don’t know anyone who is as hard on me as I am on myself.
Regardless, we are required to forgive if we want to be forgiven. What all does this entail? Well, let’s look at the definition from Webster’s:
Definition of FORGIVE
transitive verb1a: to give up resentment of or claim to requital for <forgive an insult> b: to grant relief from payment of <forgive a debt>2: to cease to feel resentment against (an offender) :pardon <forgive one’s enemies>
Do you have to be friends with the person and act like nothing ever happened? Absolutely not! But forgive and move on? Yes.
Easier said than done, right? It usually takes quite a chunk of prayer time to be able to achieve this step. As with all things in life, pray for God to help you. Pray for guidance. Pray for forgiveness from Him. But I guarantee that once you do reach that point, you will feel so much better. Then, you can move right along with making that lemonade!
“Oh, we had such a wonderful night/day. The dog and cat were holding hands. The kids got along just great and I’ve never ruined a supper. Honestly. Never.”
We are all human. We all make mistakes. While someone’s trial is coming to an end, someone else’s is just beginning. We go thru cycles of ups and downs. It is a natural part of life. We can not always be on the mountain top. Nothing grows on the mountain top. All of the growth, nutrients, and trials, are while down in the valley. But the God of the mountain top experience is still God in the valley!
While on Facebook or another web site, it’s easy to pretend like everything is hunky dory… You never face a trial and instead of lifting others up during theirs, you put them down or make them feel guilty for feeling something other than pure bliss.
Well folks, life is not always blissful on the other side of the computer. There are a lot more who are out there struggling and hurting and choose to face their trials alone, because others have shamed them into secrecy.
I’ll be the first to say, that I AM NOT PERFECT, just forgiven. Though I may be on the mountain top now, when the valley experience comes, I will know that it didn’t come to stay, it came to pass, that it’s for my good and my growth, and that my faith will remain in the Lord.
In July of 2004, I made friends with a group of people in an IHOP. If you know me, this comes as no surprise. We ended up merging our tables and the other group came and sat with my group. One of these persons is a guy who we will refer to as “Chuck”…
That night was full of fun and laughter. I kept in touch with a few via phone, text, myspace, email, etc. “Chuck” was one of them. A few years later we reacquainted. I was busy with work/life and never thought twice about him. He was dating Julie, who I didn’t know.
Fast forward a few months: “Chuck” is about to leave for deployment (He was a Marine) and wants to meet up, just as friends. Before you know it, “Chuck” and I are dating. Only mentioned an ex-girlfriend a few times. Leaves for Iraq, and while there: rips my heart to shreds. I was left hurt, very confused, and angry. I was determined before that to never fall for anyone again, and I did… only to be let down.
In the time we were dating before he left, I got to know some of his friends. One was his best friend’s girlfriend, Le Anna. When “Chuck” and I broke up, she insisted I come along on a girls night. She brought 2 other girls. Steph and….. Julie, who also brought her now husband. I realized within seconds she was the girl in the pictures with “Chuck” a few months before I started dating him, but we were very cool with each other and quickly became friends. Before the end of the night, she ended up consoling me, and we both insisted we had to remain in contact.
That was almost 5 years ago. Now, I could easily look back on all of that and say “God, why? Why did you allow my heart to be broken?” However, I look at it like this, “God, thank you for the gift of friendship you have given me in these 3 women. Especially Julie. She’s always there right when I need her with a wise word, song lyric, or scripture. It was all worth it to know these girls!”
God knows what he’s doing, people. All the time. Even when we aren’t serving him at the time. And what may seem like something horrible in your midst, never forget that something good can come from it. Even the Bible states this:
And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
Romans 8:28 NKJV
A month after I met Julie, I met and married my husband Bobby who is the love of my life. I could have NEVER imagined that I would ever find someone like him. He is a dream come true and one of the greatest gifts God ever gave me. I quickly forgot about “Chuck”, and still had 3 awesome new friends! A few months later, Julie and Chad were married and remain to be very happy.
You know what that means…
“Chuck” is apparently “Good Luck”… If you’re single and tired of it, I suggest looking him up… Just kidding. Save yourself the trouble, don’t. Just be friends with us instead.
Bringing you only the best! One smarty and one ditz…
But we would NEVER pass the chance for OUR FAMILIES to see us, even if it risked humiliating ourselves. We would do ANYTHING for OUR FAMILY!
Becky and Madison, NOW you’re seeing your Mom & G’Madre Diania!
But we’re not bitter…
Dear Lord, Please don’t let us end up on Tosh.O, Break.com, or any other one of those hilarious shows… Ugh… Only for those we love would we do this, because we would NEVER not acknowledge them on camera. 😉 In Jesus’ name we pray. And the church & blog world said AMEN!!!
Tupperware. Mary Kay. Pampered Chef. Premier Jewelry. Avon. BeautiControl. Lia Sophia. Thirty-one. I’m sure we’ve all been to or hosted our own party-enjoyed an evening with friends, munched on appetizers, gabbed on and on over this and that, maybe even left with less money than we had when we arrived.
Recently I was sitting there and out of no where an idea began to form. Yes, believe me, I do know how dangerous that can be.
Most of the time, I only have fun at these parties because it’s a small chance for the girls to get together and fellowship. Here lately, though, I’ve noticed that many of the women I know have been battling with hurt, discouragement, bitterness, etc. I have even dealt with these issues myself. And that’s when it hit me. A new kind of party. A party where everyone can still get together and fellowship, and not have to worry about spending any money. That’s right. I’ve invented a new fad party and I hope you will all take the time out to host your own one day. It’s called the Encouragement Party. I will be launching my very first party next week for the ladies at my church and I cannot wait. I’ll let you know how it goes. 😉
Below, I have included the plan and purpose I have written out for the Encouragement Party. If you want to host your own, have at it! There are no requirements other than having fun, encouraging others, and being encouraged yourself. Just pray about it, put your own spin on it, and encourage away! I’m praying that this ministry of encouragement hops from my heart to yours and women everywhere can realize their worth.
Oh yeah, my Facebook status from a year ago, “Encouragement is a much better tool to use than judgment.” Chew on that!
What is an Encouragement Party? It’s a chance for women of God to get together and lift each other up, strengthening one another in the Lord.
My plan is that each lady leaves refreshed and knowing that she is worthy of God’s love and favor after an evening of fellowship with her sisters in Christ.
This is one of those cases where if you can’t say anything nice, then pray Psalm 141:3 over yourself before you come: “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.” After all, “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue keeps his soul from troubles.”- Proverbs 21:23 🙂
There is already too much division, back-biting, bitterness, hate, and an “I’m better than you are” attitude going around-especially in our churches. Have you ever noticed that most of the time this has more of an affect on the women? Most of us are the emotional, sensitive, I-wear-my-heart-on-my-sleeve kind of gals. It’s time we come together and use these strong emotions to build each other up, rather than destroying and tearing each other down. I’m tired of seeing the battles of our thoughts and minds win over us-ruining relationships, ripping away love, wounding us and leaving us to die. It’s time that we realize where are strength, joy and AUTHORITY come from and declare that we are going to triumph victoriously over every demonic attack that comes against us; for we do not wrestle flesh and blood as many of us think, but against powers, principalities and rulers of darkness. (Ephesians 6:12)
I hope that you will all join me in my desire to see women of God from all over band together in unity, carrying out the will of God peaceably. “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men (women).”- Romans 12:18
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”- Psalm 133:1
Please come prepared to encourage one another and be encouraged yourself.