Tag Archive Habit

ByAngie

Hand Check!!!

I have a close friend, Crystal, who strives to keep her home clean. I often wish I had it as together as she does. Her home is in a central location for a few of us to meet up for gatherings and play dates, during which she can often be heard proclaiming, “HAND CHECK!” at which point all of the kids line up and she inspects their hands for cleanliness. When done, she helps the messy hands get cleaned up and sends them all back to playing. We often tease her for it, but in reality, it is a genius idea.

Have you ever felt the Lord tugging on your heart, asking you for a “Hand Check”? While sometimes we show him our palms, beaming with pride, it’s not always so pleasant, is it?

From time to time we have things on our hands that we are not so proud of. Things that shouldn’t be there. Other times, everything on our hands are good things to have, but something is missing.

As moms, we are all guilty of this. We get so busy with the kids that we compromise, allowing things in our lives that shouldn’t be there. We also take short cuts, not doing exactly what God tells us to do. Ask yourself, and examine your hands: Do you need to wash them? Do you need to put something on them? Good hand care is important! Spending time in the word, giving attention to our husbands and children as we should, and making sure to pray and thank God for his many blessings are just a few.

So this I ask of you, do a “Hand Check”… then lift those sticky hands to Jesus! He’ll bless you for it!

ByAngie

Trust-O-Meter 4000

Once upon a time I was a different person. I rarely doubted anyone. I took each person for what they said they were. I forgave most simply because they said they were sorry for some of the most hurtful heartbreaking things that had been done to me. And I dropped everything at a moment’s notice to be there for friends who needed me.

Sadly, like most people in this world, I have changed. I was hurt, deeply, in several different instances where those that I loved and considered dear friends betrayed me in one way or another. I didn’t change overnight, it was after being hurt repeatedly to different degrees by various loved ones over the course of years and allowing the hurt and frustration to build up.

In trying to move past the pain, I blocked out the memory, sometimes almost “deleting” the person from my memory to the best of my ability and pretending the hurt never happened. “They’re dead to me” I would so easily exclaim if someone asked me when I last talked to the person, proud of my hardened heart and letting the world know that my ego was not bruised but instead stroked.

Obviously, this is ineffective as the hurt is still there, growing, causing me to be doubting, flaky, and distrusting of others. Besides, as soon as in some way or another whether by running across an old picture of different people, hearing another speak of them, or running into them the pain was quickly remembered as though a bandage was ripped away from the wound, taking the stitches with it and leaving all my anguish exposed. I talk myself down from the anger. “That person has no idea. And look who I am now in spite of all they did to hurt me! They have suffered such a loss to not know me any longer! All of the happiness they claim to have now is fake, because they certainly don’t deserve it. I dare them to attempt to do the same thing to me now. They’d have another thing coming!” Only to realize very quickly “They probably could care less about anything to do with me.”

And here is where it comes full circle…

The reality smacks me right in the face because I KNOW that there are people out there that I’ve hurt, whether intentional or unintentional, that I could care less about what is going on in their lives or where they are now.

Ouch. “What kind of person am I? That’s just disgusting! I wasn’t raised to be this way! Forgive and forget, love one another!”

It seems just in the last few months I’ve been tossed in with memories of many different past hurts and had to deal with them. Sometimes so overwhelming, not understanding why, my only option was to cry and have a pity party. Just a few moments ago I was asking God “Why do I have to go through all this, dealing with all of these people so close together?” I wasn’t even done asking when I realized it’s because something needs to change. I learned at a woman’s conference I attended years ago as a teenager that in order to move past the hurt, grow from it, and heal you must forgive those that hurt you.

Now, I’m going to be honest, as much as I say I forgive everyone for whatever they did to me, there are probably 2 or 3 that I don’t want to forgive. 1 of those people I forgave for one of the worst things a person could do to another mother only to be betrayed nearly the same way all over again months later. I realize that forgiveness doesn’t mean I have to be friendly, but just the simple act of letting go of the hurt and sometimes anger seems impossible. Why should that person be forgiven for such a horrible thing? I guess the answer is simple, because if I don’t I’m living in sin and as long as I carry this burden around I’m going to be unhappy. I don’t want to be this person who doesn’t take people for their words, doubts every single persons motive for being nice to me, assuming every friend I have secretly hates me. Why should everyone in my life now pay for the sins of those that were in my life in the past?

If only everyone had a stamp on their foreheads to state whether they were trustworthy, and meter to show just how real or fake they really are…

That’s not how it is, though. This is real life. Time for me to pick myself back up, again. Time to dust off my genuine smile, and know that people are being nice to me because they simply like me, not to dig up dirt on a myself, a friend, or family member. Time to take people for their words, and not second guess every other statement.

It might take a little time, and that’s okay. I’m damaged, but through forgiveness of others and forgiveness from God, I can be whole again.

Originally written by Angie as "If Only..." on February 4th, 2010
ByAngie

Everyday Miracles

Okay, I know we are all guilty of this. Sure, there are mothers out there who are not. However, the simple fact that you are reading this post right now tells me you don’t fit into that small lump of women. What am I talking about?

Putting yourself last.

Diania snapped this photo of me at church last Sunday evening. I'm still not sure why no one would let me pray with them during the altar call... Their loss.

For some of you, it may just be a few areas in your life. For me, it’s ALL areas. My laundry is done last, my doctor’s appointments are put off and then cancelled, my preferences take a back seat to that of my family’s, and my kids are always dressed cute while my husband is looking handsome and I look like some hobo clown that broke in and photo bombed the family photo.

A few weeks ago I decided something needed to change. I told my husband that for my birthday next month I wanted to get my hair cut. Nothing special, just cut. “No problem!” he replied! But the biggest dilemma was that I desperately needed clothes. I’ve had 3 babies in less than 3 1/2 years. As a result I’ve put on weight and my structure has changed. (We’ll leave it at that, sounds nicer.) To say “I need a few things” is an understatement.

Last week I prayed two separate times for new clothes. Just twice. I didn’t mention my prayers to anyone, though I’m sure my need was obvious to those who looked upon me. I figured all I really needed was 2 or 3 outfits to rotate when I need to leave the house looking decently. We’re talking bare necessities here. I decided I would save up some pennies and either hit up some yard sales or visit a few thrift stores next month. In the mean time, I stopped praying. I thought of all of those in worse situations and felt as though I was being ungrateful. I would just make do with what I had.

Then yesterday I received a call from one of my closest friends, Crystal. Her parents own a dry cleaning business and was visiting them at their store. She wanted to know what size clothing I wear. I couldn’t imagine why, and while I did NOT want to admit to my skinny mini friend what my large size was, I answered the question. She then went on to tell me that a customer had recently lost a great deal of weight and asked her Dad to find someone that could use the clothes. To say I was shocked and excited is an understatement. Today I went through the clothes. All name brands. Really nice things, for all seasons. We’re not talking about a few things, we’re talking about an entire wardrobe. Most amazing thing of all? Each item fits perfectly. Nothing too big or too small.

My God Provides!!!

Another everyday miracle: The fact that these kids all sat long enough to take this photo.

It is the everyday miracles like this that prove that God loves his children. The need for clothing, having children all nap at once so Mom can pray, the weather being just right so the family can get out and go for a walk, talking to the right representative on an important call, the kids getting along, the wrinkles on a baby’s foot, being treated to a nice dinner, and so many other ways. Now don’t get me wrong: terminal illnesses being healed and such are proof also. But the fact that God knew the need even though it wasn’t necessarily needed to survive and fulfilled the prayer speaks volumes. He loves me so much that he didn’t want me to be embarrassed when I leave the house. He knew that I needed just a smidgen of attention to refresh my appearance so that I could better care for my family.

If God cares so much about our everyday problems to perform everyday miracles, imagine what else he can do? Instead of looking at the big problems in your life, look at the little miracles. The everyday works that God does for you. Never forget to say “thank you”, and have faith. He’s not done with us yet!