Day 2 – K.I.S.S.

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Isaiah 26:3 New Living Translation (NLT)

You will keep in perfect peace
    all who trust in you,
    all whose thoughts are fixed on you!

Keep It Simple Sweetheart!

During my prayer time, I like to talk to God about our triumphs together. I remember when I was in medical school, married and the mother of an infant. At night, my husband and I took turns studying and babysitting. My dad would would come and stay with us the week before and the week of tests. My father-in-law supplied us with a place to stay and a washer and dryer. That’s not even the summation of all the support we received. Help came to us from family, friends, classmates, church members, and the medical school staff. I am so thankful! God supplied through willing vessels. It gives me joy to remember. I guess that is what rejoicing is all about.

As you can imagine, even with all that support, it was a difficult time. It got even more difficult when we had our second child and we were interns in residency. But despite that, most days I felt peace.

Peace because of freedom.

Freedom to trust.

Freedom to not worry about the outcome.

I knew that we were following God’s direction. That’s the simplified life. The days where peace evaded me occurred when I forgot.

I forgot to keep focus. I forgot He has the last word in EVERYTHING. I forgot:

Psalm 116:6 21st Century King James Version (KJ21)

The Lord preserves the simple; I was brought low, and He helped me.

As I mentioned in the “21 Day No Complaint Challenge”, I feel the need to live a more simple life. The more simplicity takes hold the more freedom I experience. There have been too many times where I felt shackled to expectations – both mine and others. 

These expectations have proven-time and time again-to be the antithesis of simplicity and therefore freedom. There is no rejoicing in that.

Philippians 4:4 King James Version (KJV)

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice.

Be well, Beloved!

Day 5 – Grace

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Well Beloved,

Today was a little rough. And by a little, I really mean a lot. There was a sick child, financial  issues, my scheduled weekly dose of interaction with passive aggressiveness, a child that “knows way more than me,” a husband out of town, a friend in need of medical assurance and a missed hot yoga class. Whew! Was that complaining? While all this was going on, I tried to make sure I didn’t complain and occasionally chastised myself for complaining and then chastised myself for chastising myself.

Oh no! The wheels of my efforts have come off!

But somewhere in the mist of this circus, His Word erupts from my heart.

Scriptures like:

2 Chronicles 20:15 New International Version (NIV)

‘Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 New International Version (NIV)

8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

These calm me. They give me peace and direction. Hopefully, for you as well. 

Be well, Beloved. Be well. 

 

 

Day 4 – The Butterfly Effect

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2 Corinthians 10:5 King James Version (KJV)  

Bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ

Hello Beloved,

Today, I called my bank with a question about the bank’s offerings. The young lady on the other side of the line answered by saying, “I’m pretty sure we don’t do that.” Mind you while this was what I’d consider a basic question, it was also very important to me. So after further explaining my request and getting the same answer, I asked if there was someone she could ask. She informed me that there was if I didn’t mind holding on the phone.

“Absolutely, I will.”

So, I held for about 45 seconds. She came back with an affirmative to my request and explained she was new and still learning. She had confused my request with something else. Blah, blah, blah. Beloved, I know you know where my mind went but thank God for grace. In mid mental complaint, I realized that I did not take time to thank God.

This hit me hard!

My first inclination was to complain instead of praise. Praise her for knowing who to ask, confessing her shortcoming to a total stranger, her pleasant disposition during the entire encounter, and her willingness to be helpful. Praise Him in and for EVERYTHING but namely for her and her actions,  that our bank of 16 plus years has the offering we need, the effect that will have on our financial standing going forward, the effect it will have on entities we like to donate to, I didn’t have to jump through hoops to get the offering, it’s one of the “million” things on my To Do list that I can check off,  I only had to hold for 45 seconds. Oh my, I can’t seem to stop thinking of reasons why I should be thankful for this one small interaction. 

How many times have I missed out on seeing His goodness because I chose to complain?

I spent the rest of my day in a much more thankful and much less complainy tone. I smiled more and people smiled back. I know this is common sense stuff but that doesn’t mean it’s part of our lifestyle. It’s my hope that those I smiled at, joked with, complimented passed it on. 

Now it’s your turn. Beloved, I thank God for you. It is a privilege to be part of your life and for you to take time out to read this post. Be well. 

 

BTW, tomorrow we’ll talk about complaint vs constructive criticism.

Day 2 – The Mulligan

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Okay, so I failed the first day. I can’t say I am surprised. This is what happens when you give up an “addiction.” I caught myself as I was chastising my 12 yo. I not only pointed out what she was doing wrong but complaining about her actions as well. When I realized this of course it was done but it helped temper my tone for the rest of the day. I also realized I had not informed her of this challenge. Who better to help keep me accountable than my family- especially the kids? I’m glad that I have you to help keep me accountable but I know I also need pointers from those who have done this before. In researching, I came across this helpful resource:

1. START BY DEFINING WHAT A COMPLAINT IS (Complaint vs Observation)
It’s cold outside”.- Observation 

‘It’s cold outside and I hate living in this place.’ – Complaint 

How does the statement make you feel? Does your chest tighten slightly or is there tension in your shoulders? These aren’t diagnostic but they are helpful pointers. You know yourself and how your body reacts. You just have to trust it. 

2. TRACK HOW OFTEN YOU COMPLAIN AND WHAT ABOUT
Don’t be shocked if you count into the hundreds in just a few hours. Nuff said.

3. SEPARATE YOURSELF FROM CHRONIC COMPLAINERS
Do not associate with a man given to anger; or go with a hot-tempered man, lest you learn his ways, and find a snare for yourself (Proverbs 22:24-25).

4. TURN COMPLAINTS INTO SOLUTIONS
This is called “positive complaining” or “effective complaining. In other words, work to fix what’s vexing you. 

5. USE THE “BUT-POSITIVE” TECHNIQUE
“I don’t like driving to work, but I’m thankful at least I can drive and I even have a job.”

6. CHANGE “HAVE TO” TO “GET TO”

List adapted from: https://www.fastcompany.com/3042951/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/what-its-like-to-go-without-complaining-for-a-month

This is both challenge and process but I’m encouraged and hope you are too. If and when there are slip ups, let’s agree to forgive, take a Mulligan and jump back in. We can do this by His grace!

 

 

 

FREEDOM

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In researching I am versus I be, I found I am to be present and I be to be imperative. That led me to think that in order to receive the Omnipresent’s freedom, it is imperative for me to be.

I be because of the I am
I be _________
Free
Free to be
Free to worry
Free to not worry

Free to love
Free to hate

Free to be anxious
Free to be faithful

Free to be fearful
Free to be courageous

Free to be happy
Free to be depressed

Free to be angry
Free to be joyful

Free to resent
Free to rejoice
Free to be
Free
I be Free
I Be Free
I BE FREE

I C U

Intensive care unit
A place for the weakest and sickest
The nominal cost is extraordinary
The physical cost for many is their life
The sequelae tangible and far reaching

I see you
This walk of life is rupestrine
Our actions and reactions, while motives mostly noble, take on an internecine nature
The spiritual cost is questioned, dismissed, judged, feared
Our relations with one another compromised
We all fail and attempt to fix or repay
We establish arbitrary lines of morality in vain attempts to justify our actions
Self righteousness our payment, can’t cover the cost
Can’t cover the damages

I Christ You
Allows us to reconcile
With each other, Him and our own selves
Allows us to heal
Allows us to be whole
The cost was His life
The price is paid