Day 8 – Why Do I Keep Touching the Stove?

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As a child, like most others, I was taught to dangers of touching hot things.

Mom: Mayisha, don’t touch that eye. It’ll burn you!

Me: Ok.

When the food was cooking, I had little to no interest in approaching. I mean the eye was glowing red hot and looked to almost want to come and get me. But when turned off and the pot removed along with my mother’s presence and attention, it seemed to beckon. “Touch me, touch me. I’m not hot anymore. Don’t you want to see for yourself? I promise I won’t hurt you now. Look! I’m loosing my glow.”

So what do I do?

I touch it.

And what happens?

It burns me.

It hurts me.

It teaches me.

And what happens next?

My mother tends to me.

She covers to heal.

She reminds me of her words.

 

My curiosity was and still is a gift. The way I viewed the situation was problematic. I did not recognize the danger.  I did not trust the instruction. I did not accept love’s “constraints”.  

For too long, I believed only bold, red, hot “supersins” were dangerous and that the enemy is dressed as someone in a red suit with two horns and a tail. In reality, he is far more subtle and successful in promoting a salubrious nature. He is likened to a charismatic leader clothed in divisive rhetoric, false humility, comparisons, and judgeful mentality. He is the accuser of the brethren, tricking us to see ourselves as deficient. When that occurs, we look to false gods for answers. Addictions develop while our faith wanes.

This is how we complicate our lives. This is how we lose focus. God wants to change how we view things.

Romans 12:2 New Living Translation (NLT)

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

 

He does not want to change us or others.

Psalm 139:14 King James Version (KJV)

14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.

 

He has inundated us with His grace. All deficiencies were nullified on the cross.

Ephesians 2:8-9 New Living Translation (NLT)

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

 

All these exchanges teach me to have faith in God.  Faith in who He made me to be. Faith in His instruction. Faith in His love.

Living simply means learning my standards are not His. I learn my standards are arbitrary and His are obtainable only through His son. I learn that following my standards leads to defeat and to follow His son leads to victory in this life and the next. I learn that throughout life I will continue to “touch stoves” and that His grace and word will always cover, tend, and heal.

Be well, Beloved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 16 – Don’t complain, confront

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Proverbs 28:23 New Living Translation (NLT)

23 In the end, people appreciate honest criticism
    far more than flattery.

Hello Beloved,

Yesterday, we spoke about confronting problems. Today… people! I know that makes a lot of us nervous, but there is a perfect way to go about it. It’s perfect in that it’s how Christ showed us to confront. We feel the need to confront because there is a conflict. The ultimate conflict is to be separated from God. Let’s see how God handled this and use it as our guide.

2 Corinthians 5:18 King James Version (KJV)

18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;

Therefore, we are to confront with the goal of reconciliation not retaliation, to “win”, or just to get it off your chest. Address the situation without attacking the person. I’ve read so many social media posts and post article comments that are entirely insults or start out making a good point but add in an insult. The person/s with an opposing view isn’t reached. The conflict is still there.

But now it’s bigger.

I’ve also seen posts where there was respectful disagreement. There may not have been an agreed resolution but relationships stayed intact. Also, those involved were able to confront instead of just complain. I’ve participated in both, usually regretting the former and learning from the latter. Don’t get me wrong, the end result isn’t always peachy. However, I rest in knowing I’m following my Guide and hopefully planting a seed.

Hebrews 12:11 New King James Version (NKJV)

11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

Before approaching the person, it’s time for a heart check. Even if I’m 100% right, (this is rare and maybe never) it doesn’t matter unless I’m humble. I find this is best done through prayer and supplication.

1 Corinthians 13:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 

 I get the most success when stating the goal at the beginning of the conversation. It follows God’s way of declaring the end from the beginning. And thanks to some regrettable moments and the current political environment, I seek to know more of His way to confront. 

In  Matthew 18:15 New Living Translation (NLT)

15 “If another believer[a] sins against you, go privately and point out the offense. If the other person listens and confesses it, you have won that person back.

Galatians 6:1 New King James Version (NKJV)

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.

Philippians 2:3-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.

Regardless, if our efforts are well received or we get fussed out or lose a relationship, forgiveness is the next step. (I have had to make a real conscious effort to do this many times!)

It’s awfully hard to complain and forgive at the same time.

Be well, Beloved! 

Day 14 – How-tos

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1 Thessalonians 5:18King James Version (KJV)

18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Hello Beloved,

Yesterday, we touched on replacing complaints with gratitude and the beneficial side effects.

Today, is more practical.

How to show gratitude may be common sense for some. I’m posting pointers for the rest of us. There’s no need to try to incorporate all into your lifestyle. Pick a few or maybe just one and make it a part of you. I have a journal and while it’s an effective tool, I need to be more cognizant during the day and not just my once daily logging.

1. Gratitude Journal – I enter a list of things while others write a narrative. Whatever your fancy, just get started. Many will say keep it in one place (apps are good for that). However, the act of writing has benefit. Plus, it can be a treat to come across a gratitude note while cleaning the junk drawer. That’s what someone told me anyway. Be flexible with yourself. It’s gratitude journaling after all!

2. Proactive gratitude  – This reminds me of when I was a little girl and would say my prayers at night. You know “now I lay me down to sleep.” When I was done reciting that morbid prayer about dying before I woke, I would pray for all the people and things I was grateful for. So basically, do that without the death part.

3. Reactive gratitude – This falls under the “Boy am I glad that didn’t happen to me” category.

4. Prayer. (That’s a period after prayer).

5. Remember The Bad – We have all had bad times and some residue from those moments may linger or still hurt like ____. But, you’re still here. You made it this far.

6. Set a gratitude alarm/gratitude jar- I have alarms and reminders for everything else so why not for this? When the alarm goes off take a moment to think of things you’re thankful for and if you have a piece of paper handy, write it down. You can then place it in a jar.

7. Sensory Appreciation – I have to remind myself to stop and enjoy the golden hour of chaos in my home. It’s the time after school when the house is full of life and activity. This child needs to go to dance and that one needs to go to soccer and hubby has a late meeting and I will not miss hot yoga again. Sometimes, I actually remember to take a moment and appreciate all that I’m blessed with and will never deserve. I’ll take in the smells, colors, sound of laughter, and grab a child for a hug. It’s simply delicious!

Below is a gratitude quiz. Feel free to take it or not. Either way, I’m thankful you visited my blog today.

Quiz
Be well, Beloved!

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