Grouchy People Everywhere

grouchy

I have always been intrigued by others. Who they are. What made them who they are. Are they really showing who they really are. etc….

Again, don’t judge me, but when my husband and I go out, I like to profile people. Guess who they are, where they came from, what the relationships around them look like.

For me, it is fun as God created me to be observant. When I was a little girl I remember telling my mom our priest had angry eyebrows one day and I wanted to know why because usually they were happy eyebrows.

Some people wear their emotions on their face, others have become skilled at tucking them away.

Which are you?

I walked in to a conversation today of 2 people talking about the “grouchy lady at the Del Taco drive-thru”. She has been labeled grouchy. When I asked if they asked if she was okay, they replied NO. Their response was to be overly happy back to her, to maybe push her in to realizing how she was behaving. Sadly, that didn’t work. It’s something that I have tried, too. Let me try and “show you” how to respond. Or give you a good example of how I think you should be acting at this moment…

I am not proud of that. I just REALLY like good customer service.

I suggested asking if she was having a bad day. That of course could go over just as poorly, but I have learned a couple of reasons they might look grouchy are they-

  1. Don’t think they are seen
  2. Don’t realize their emotions are on their face

Sure their could be 1,000s of other reasons, but lets play with these two. 🙂

Believe it or not, not everyone was brought up in a loving and encouraging home. Some people are in horrible situations. Some people are made to feel as though they are invisible. Some people NEED to be seen. Look at them and ask how they are. They matter! If you are aware of someone acting “off” ASK THEM HOW THEY ARE. Don’t just push it aside or talk about them, talk TO them. You could change their life!

Sometimes people just don’t realize they are letting their emotions show or they have the permanent “not nice” face that we talked about before. Let them know by asking how their day is going, then LISTENING to the response. PUSH IN. I have a friend who has her eyebrows waxed and she never knew that the way she styles them makes her look angry…all the time. Where she is from, that is how they are worn. She had never even thought about how the style was probably started to look intimidating. CRAZY right? It took someone asking her, to help her realize that the look DID intimidate people, but it was the ones she was trying to attract as friends.

How can you show grace to someone that is irritating you? How can you remind yourself that you have NO IDEA what someone else might be going through.

How can you remember to push in…even if someone is always smiling, and ask how they are doing…then stop to LISTEN to what they say.

What I learned today…I am not always the best and pushing in. God expects me to. Not to become best friends with everyone, but to show that others are seen and heard.

 

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Stuck Up Much?

Have you ever seen someone you know and smiled at them, or waited for them to acknowledge you…and they don’t? You feel like a crazy person or wonder why they would be so rude to you? How DARE they not say hello! Did I do something to upset them?

This happens to me ALL the time, but I am the one that isn’t saying hello, or ignoring you, or not saying anything…I can’t say I don’t smile as generally 80% of the time I am smiling. My problem is the other 20% of the time I have resting…lets call it “wench” face.

You know, that face that Scarlett O’Hara had in Gone With The Wind?

Resting Face

The look that is 1/2 smirk and 1/2 reallllly?  I don’t mean to, I really don’t. Most of the time, 50,000 things are going through my brain at one time and I am not even recognizing that I am looking at someone. I am usually looking through them.

BAD ON ME.

The other part of the time is I truly have no memory. I’m like an amplified Dory from Nemo. I can meet someone and within seconds totally forget everything that was just said. Luckily, my son found that I have “fibro fog“. Being diagnosed with Fibromyalsia, I am learning more and more what that means. He was excited because when I have asked him the same question 5 times within 5 minutes and have no recollection that he responded, it can get frustrating.

Well, I’m sure it gets frustrating for those I have met as well! I can meet someone, have a great conversation with them, here their story and truly be touched…and then days later not recognize their face.

If I have done this to you, I apologize. Because I don’t remember to put the face with the story, doesn’t mean our time together wasn’t impact-ful because it was. I just truly can’t put a name to a face or to there where and when we had the discussion.

If someone has done this to you, show a bit of grace and forgive them. Start conversations with them that remind them when and where you talked last. Hopefully this will jog their memory. If not, you can be old friends AND new friends at the same time! (Get it? 🙂 )

What I learned today…God will bring to mind things I NEED to remember. The rest of the time I have to pray for others to be merciful with me and for God to help me remember as much as I can to honor those around me. Also, I need to stop and really look around me more. I need to SEE the people God is putting in my way, not just look through them.

 

Tantrum (Woman)? vs Righteous Anger (Man)?

So I know I have been fairly open and authentic with you. At times, I have gone a bit silent as there are points in our lives that need to be lived before shared, and I am in the middle of one of those.

Today I want to share about strategy. Intend AND unintended. This will upset both feminists and whatever the opposite to feminists are.

I am okay with that, in honor of just being honest and truthful in my own brokenness.

As a leader in business I never had to worry about offending a man. I consistently led in the way I was built to lead. Strong, fast and hard. Someone’s sex or age didn’t bother me as I didn’t worry about emotions or feelings or caring about others. I worried about more money and more power not caring on who I had to step on.

After giving my life to Christ, I have shared about how I thought the traditional Christian women was to be seen not heard. Pushing past that as I grew in my own walk with Jesus, it still has not been a completely overcome issue it is a journey as I find my place in His church.

As a passionate person, I tend to build and blow. I’m not much at keeping things in, but have learned, over time and a LOT of prayer to only “blow” when God says, “Go for it, sweetie!”.  In a male-led church I haven’t felt comfortable in truly letting my anger and frustration show. Please don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job and church, but in LIFE we don’t agree with everything that happens. It happens in the church as well.

When I have gotten upset, I have used the word tantrum. I would say I am throwing a tantrum as it is a word that men would associate with an angry woman. (I know that some of you will not continue reading out of shear anger at reading that. That is fine.) While being upset, I tears would be shed. OH NO, you think. NOT TEARS!!!! That shows weakness!!! They won’t take you seriously!!!

I hear you. HOWEVER, my heart IS hurt when God’s people are hurting. My heart IS hurt when their is injustice. The tears I shed weren’t to be humiliating, but a release of pent up emotion. I would share that I needed to throw a tantrum AND cry. I know… you might feel that has set us back, but it hasn’t. It is what God had me do, until the culture was strong enough for me to change.

And it has.

With time and being tested, both by God and His church, I felt a shift. I felt the shift yesterday in a discussion with one of the pastors. I was fed up, hurt, frustrated and teary. He let me “throw a tantrum”, paused and then told me to, “Grow up”.

He has no idea that in that moment their was a shift. Without even knowing it, he was the catalyst that had the Holy Spirit put a hand on me and say, You got this.

I now hear God whispering, that I can be who He made me to be. I don’t need to “throw tantrums” anymore. I can stand firm knowing that I love Jesus and I love my church…but I will get mad at times. I will get frustrated and need to share my frustration and anger…and the people over me are strong enough to take it, hear it and not hold it against me, but help me walk through it with change or understanding.

We all have moments like this. Where God has us walking in one direction because He needs us to be obedient for either our benefit or for the benefit of others around us. They aren’t always easy times, but God will change the direction. It won’t always be hard. You won’t always have to fight to be heard. Lead with your actions, the ability to share the words will come.

As long as you are doing it all for Jesus, allow yourself to be humbled to the point of being difficult to handle, and then watch the growth that can happen when you are low enough to see that He is in everything. He is in all directions, you just have to see Him and follow His lead.

What I learned today…We have to trust the people around us to be strong enough to feel our anger over situations, but not hold it against us. We also have to have a solution to every problem or injustice we see, we can’t just get angry and not give direction. That is whining.

 

Ooooooh, Eve

This is not a deep theological post…it’s more of a quick note regarding my frustration at the loads and loads of laundry that seem to multiple daily!

So, when Eve took that bite of the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, that God said not to touch, and then realized she was naked and put on fig leaves to cover herself…do you REALLY think she realized what she got herself in to?

Do think that God, though upset, smiled to Himself thinking, “Oh, honey. Fig leaves now…but wait until people fill their closets with clothes to wear each week. You just took hours and days and years away from the lives of people in the future!”.

Pains of childbirth, ruled over by our husbands AND laundry. God knew what He was doing.

What I learned today…Not to expect chores to be done unless I ask for them to be done. I need to be specific as in a house full of boys, NO ONE can read my mind.

Laundry

 

Day 3: Mount of Olives

Today our journey with Jesus through Holy Week takes us back to the Temple in Jerusalem and then to the Mount of Olives.

On Tuesday morning, Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. They passed the withered fig tree on their way, and Jesus taught them about faith.

At the Temple, the religious leaders aggressively challenged Jesus’ authority, attempting to ambush him and create an opportunity for his arrest. But Jesus evaded their traps and pronounced harsh judgment on them: “Blind guides! … For you are like whitewashed tombs—beautiful on the outside but filled on the inside with dead people’s bones and all sorts of impurity. Outwardly you look like righteous people, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness…Snakes! Sons of vipers! How will you escape the judgment of hell?” (Matthew 23:24-33)

Tuesday afternoon Jesus left the city and went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, which overlooks Jerusalem due east of the Temple. Here Jesus gave the Olivet Discourse, an elaborate prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and the end of the age. He taught in parables using symbolic language about end times events, including his Second Coming and the final judgment.

Scripture indicates that Tuesday was the day Judas Iscariot (iss-carry-ut) negotiated with the Sanhedrin (san hēdrin) to betray Jesus (Matthew 26:14-16).

 Read more – Matthew 21:23–24:51, Mark 11:20–13:37, Luke 20:1–21:36, and John 12:20–38.

What I learned today…Even Jesus had false friends and ones who would betray Him. Even knowing what Judas would eventually would do, He still loved Him and taught Him up until the moment of betrayal. I need to love ALL others better. Not just the people who are nice to me.

Heavy Hearted

I woke up with a heavy heart this morning. Frustrated with God and ready to grab the reigns back from Him. I wanted to take back the surrender I have been REALLLY trying to have. I handed Him my problem saying, God, it’s in your hands and I trust you to do what’s best for me. I have been praying and asking for more patience. I am tired. I have been practicing   Proverbs 4:23-27 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Put away perversity from your mouth, Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you. Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm. Do not swerve to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil.”

I feel myself drawn to a lot of the Psalms and their cry for help. This morning, I came down with a heavy heart for myself and our situation. That turned to guilt as I have a healthy family. Those with sick family members would take ANY life over what they currently have. So I came down and sat down with the bible ready to say, God, What the What?! I can take care of this WAY faster than you. AND I can flourish! His response…Flourish? Like the “good’ole days” when you didn’t walk with Me.? UGH. So I opened the bible, and He showed me (on the VERY FIRST PAGE I OPENED). “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7

What do you have to give to God today? Is it in friendships? family? finances? faith? We wait on His timing. Remember, He is our DAD. HE can see the BIG picture and direct us when and where we should be. Let’s all repeat Phil 4:6-7 over and over today and wait patiently, not anxiously for His Will to be done.

What I learned today…I need to constantly turn to God on my good and bad days. He is the one that can give me rest.

How Informal Are You

We had a staff meeting about Informality. It is one of the Values we have here at my church that we hold dear.

At one point the moderator asked everyone who is naturally informal to raise their hand and around 80% of the staff did. Then he asked for those who struggle to make sure they are informal to raise their hands. I raise my hand for the later. When I did that, I saw multiple faces show shock.

In my current work place I am very informal 80% of the time. It is a struggle, which does surprise most people. By nature, I am fairly uptight about the workplace. My mom taught me an extremely strong work ethic, so time spent chit-chatting has been something I have had to learn over the last 4 years. It hasn’t been easy.

As I have learned a fruitful life is less about production and protocol and more about people and relationships. Again, I have LEARNED and continue learning as when I have a lot going on and a ton to do, it is still difficult for me to stop for conversation. However, Jesus modeled that some of the best Ministry comes out of interruptions.

What I learned today…

I will continue to work on being present and informal so as to set people at ease, help the feel comfortable and truly be engaged in relationships.

I will continue to spend time intentionally being loud and goofy, when I can, remembering it is more relatable.

I will also fight the urge not to be “all business” as I don’t work in a setting where it is all business.

I will work through the pull of my head to be stern in circumstances, and be more understanding.

I will pray for God to give me the wisdom to know the right and wrong times for informality and that I don’t come off too strong, but as a very loving, hard working, leader.

Do you see the light?

My companions saw the light, but they did not understand the voice of him who was speaking to me. Acts 22:9

What a strong verse. Saul was walking with his companions, who were also non-believers in Christ. All of them saw the light and yet Saul was the only one who understood the voice of Jesus that was speaking.

Sometimes that happens in life, right? We hear God speaking clearing to us, yet those around us either can’t or won’t listen to His direction. At times it’s because they are non-believers and choose not to hear Him. Or because they refuse to listen. Or because they haven’t met Him yet.

There are many reasons we can sometimes hear God clearly and other times we feel like He has left us completely. In both He is at work. Thankfully, Saul turned to Paul, because He listened…and followed direction.

Whether we are seeing the light and listening patiently to His voice. We see someone else reflecting His light and we follow the lead He has given them. We can’t see His light and we look for it in His Word. At all times He is with us. He is shining His light so bright it would burn our faces! Whether we see it or not!

Remember God giving Moses direction through the burning bush? (Exodus 3)

Moses heard God, hid his face and said, there is NO way I could do what you are asking.

 Throughout the chapter we see God saying to Him,

I am God.

I will be with you.

I am sending you.

I who have sent you.

I AM WHO I AM

I know.

I will perform.

I will make.

Boy, Moses was stubborn! (I can relate). God was giving him pretty direct directions and Moses kept pushing back.

Do you do that? I do.

Let’s remember, that in order to shine our light…we need to be firmly planted in His Word and LISTEN to His direction, than follow it.

 Look at it this way…

He is God.

He is with you.

He is sending you.

He has sent you.

He is sovereign.

He knows.

He will perform.

He will make it possible.

May your light shine BRIGHT to all around you this week whether they be a believer or “pre-Christian” (non-believer).

What I learned today…We can only reflect His light if we are looking to Him. Stay connected through the Word.

So Very Discouraged

I have been going through a difficult season. So much that I can’t remember the last time I have felt so discouraged.
When I read Thessalonians 5:16 “Rejoice always.”, I want to yell at God, “HOW?!?! I want to, but don’t feel like I can!”.

Have you ever been there? Are you in the middle of feeling that now?

This is the perfect time of year to stop…and remember all Jesus did for us. How He took on more than we can even begin to imagine…all for us.

He was ridiculed.
He was doubted.
He was laughed at.
He was persecuted.
He was ignored.
He was beaten.
He was put to death.
All in front of friends, who denied Him!

He has gone through more than we can ever comprehend.

Let’s remember Colossians 1:15 – 23 (I know it’s long, but READ IT!!!)

The Supremacy of the Son of God
The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.
For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him.
He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him,
and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of[a] your evil behavior.
But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation—
if you continue in your faith, established and firm, and do not move from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant.

This has changed my attitude from all self-consumed to being able to truly REJOICE in this beautiful season.

Take time to Thank God for sending us Jesus and thank Jesus for putting up with so much so that we have eternal life with Him.

I am praying that God reminds you that this is not the season to survive or get through…it’s the season of true, unconditional love. Praying that we all feel His love in big and small ways and thank Him for creating us to be a part of His family.

What I learned today…though I felt these things and wrote this down in December, I am glad that what it says is still true today. The more we write down and document what we go through, the more we can look back to see how God works in ALL that we go through. I am content.

Bold and Compassionate

Generally when I tell others to be Bold AND Compassionate, it means – say your piece in a nice way. These situations are usually when someone needs to be “course corrected” as they are going down an unhealthy path. I remind people that we are responsible for the people God has given us to work with and around and as a leader, we have to do things that aren’t always fun, by helping people see that hey are held accountable for their actions as leaders.

This morning as I prepared for a meeting, God brought a different picture to mind and course – corrected me.

I was looking up pictures of Bold and Compassionate and was surprised when the first one that came up reminded me of the story in Mark and Luke of Jesus healing the paralyzed man who was lowered through the roof where Jesus was preaching.

Mark 2:4-5   Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” (To read the full chapter click here).

It is not a story of the men trying to heal their paralyzed friend. It is not a story of the men talking through the sins that might have made him this way. (Back then, they believed that if you were paralyzed, among other things, it is because of sin in your life or your family’s lives).

This is a story of men, seeing their friend in pain, living a life that was not beneficial. It’s a story of those men KNOWING Jesus could heal. Of men not letting crowds stop them. Of men not letting a roof stop them. It’s the story of men, doing all they can to bring their friend to Jesus to be healed.

The knock over the head God gave me this morning was…why do I feel like I need to help course-correct others with MY words. What I need to do, is do everything I can to bring those people to the feet of Jesus to be healed and directed. I might have great motives and believe what I say is the best, but JESUS has pure and wants the best for all of us. He can do WAY more in a heart than I can.

What I learned today…I need to go boldly to CHRIST with my concerns regarding my path and others. I need to lean on Him to course correct us all, if it His will.  I learned that I will never stop learning as long as I go to Him with everything. The direction He gives won’t always feel good, but it is good.