Hurt People Hurt People

How do you deal with the people who aren’t just difficult to you but are also hurting those closest to you? Hearing that someone I’ve been having frustrating issues with is also hurting someone else, that really gets to me. I have to take a step back and talk myself out of blowing up and going all Rambo on that person. Reacting that way would solve absolutely nothing.

Hurt people hurt people. It’s hard to give the benefit of the doubt when you’re repeatedly being hurt by someone. And then you see or hear that they’re hurting someone you love and you just want to hurt them and bathe in the retribution. But we’re not supposed to take these matters into our own hands. It’s not our job to seek retribution, to seek an eye for an eye. It’s our job to take a step back, forgive, pray, and let God do His job.

It’s super easy for me to tell my youth group girls that life is filled with difficult people who seem to have the intention of hurting others, but you gotta be the person to forgive. You gotta be the person to not take it personally. You gotta be the person to give it to God. It’s hard to be that person. It’s hard to react with love, grace, and forgiveness. It’s hard to follow that advice.

My immediate reaction is to put on the brass knuckles and evenly distribute the pain how the pain has been dealt to me or my loved ones. It feels natural to stoop to the level of passive aggressive manipulative hurt that has been hurting us. It’s so easy to take the low road. Being a bully is easy. It’s easy because this world is overflowing with bullies. The news is filled with them. Our schools are filled with them. The roads are filled with them. Churches are filled with them too.

To not be a bully, to be filled with His grace, forgiveness, and love is the reaction we should all be striving for. Hurt people hurt people, so let’s love them and forgive them. We don’t know what’s going on. We just see their reactions. And sometimes they’re not even hurt, sometimes they’re just cruel maniacal people who enjoy being manipulative and hurtful….they need love and forgiveness too. As difficult as that may be, our reactions need to be filled with love and grace. Easier said than done.

“Oh, I did my time.”

Coming from the culinary industry I’ve seen chefs who will work in the dirtiest of dish rooms without hesitating, and I’ve seen prep cooks shrug their shoulders at a tower of dirty pots and say, “Oh, I did my time.” When there is a need, that need should be met no matter if you’ve done your time. No matter if you’re the president of the company, a director of some kind, or low on the totem pole. A need is a need is a need.

There is no such thing as doing your time. If you’re not willing to roll up your sleeves and work because you’ve done your time, I feel really sorry for you. That’s a really sad mindset to be in. To think you’re better than the dishwasher because for a few months when you first started in the industry you were in the dish room and did your time. To think you’re better than serving in the church because you did your time as a preschool teacher twenty years ago, or you held a few babies and now you’re above that, it’s just sad.

My reactions to these type of people has been to bite my tongue and just deal with it. Lately dealing with it has been building up inside of me and making my heart turn ugly and cold. It’s festering. My anger towards these people is festering and it’s making me look bad because I’m not reacting how I should be reacting. It’s so easy to lower myself and meet their passive aggressiveness when I should be praying for guidance, strength, a soft heart, and patience.

Maybe those who are so easy to sit down and say “I did my time.” just don’t realize that as humans we need to work together as a team, and it’s all a level playing field. You are never above cleaning toilets or making coffee, and the moment you think that you are is the moment people will stop respecting you.

Let’s work together to abolish the “oh, I did my time” thought process.

Lunch Break Thoughts

So I get to work. Normal routine. I put my phone in my desk drawer, check my emails, reply to some emails. Normal super quiet morning in the office.

All of a sudden from my desk drawer I hear, “IT’S SO FLUFFY I’M GONNA DIIIIEEEEEE!!!!”

I was fiddling around with contact settings yesterday and I set my mom to “Emergency Bypass”. I did not realize emergency bypass meant scream the ringtone when the phone is on silent/vibrate.

So my mom texted me and her text tone is Agnes from Despicable Me screaming It’s so fluffy I’m gonna die!

Being the Bigger Person

It can be extremely difficult to deal with aggravating people and aggravating situations. The bad news is life is filled with passive aggressive people and people who don’t like to communicate with grace and kindness, or even communicate at all. The great news is you get to control your reaction to those people and situations! And your reaction says a lot more about you than it says about the person you’re reacting to. Remember that.

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Someone I look up to, he is like my second dad, reminds me whenever he sees me that my reaction speaks volumes about my character. My reactions say a lot about me. I have control over how I react.  And especially being a leader in the church I need to be careful how I react and I need to keep my emotions in check. Words to live by.

I believe Warren Buffet is the one who said “Take the high road, it’s far less crowded.” 

Communication, respect, and reactions of grace and humility are key to living a life that honors God and honors those you interact with. In order to have friends, you need to be a friend. Proverbs 18:24 says A man who has friends must himself be friendly. 

Being the bigger person means swallowing our pride and frustration and reacting in a way that is kind. Reacting in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. And reacting in a way that shows your character is true and noble, instead of self pleasing and icky. I need to constantly remind myself of that when I’m dealing with people who seem to have it out for me, or are treating me with passive aggressiveness. It isn’t always easy but overall my reaction is my responsibility.

100 Days to Brave (Days 1-3)

I started the devotional 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs. And it’s been fantastic and challenging. Each day I have journaled and actually listened to the challenge she give us. I will be going through and jotting down thoughts I have and summaries of each day while I go through these 100 days. Let’s dive in!


Day One: What is brave? Isaiah 41:13, For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.

Journal: To be brave means hearing the whispers of fear, but taking action anyway. God made me on purpose, and for a purpose. I’m scared to completely trust God. It’s not fun being ridden with anxiety and the loud booming voice of fear all the time. What am I scared of? Plenty of things. I know I need to give my fears to God but I’m scared of what might happen if I do.

Challenge: Tell someone about this 100 day journey to being brave and having a braver life.


Day Two: Why be brave? 2 Timothy 1:8-9 8 So do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God. He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time. 

Journal: Seeing other’s be brave makes me want to be brave too. Seeing others talk in public makes me feel like I can too. Seeing others lose the weight even if they have thyroid complications makes me feel like I can too. I can be brave. God wants me to be brave.

Challenge: Think back on your day. Where can you see God working on your behalf? Or just showing up for you? Tell somebody.


Day Three: You are braver than you know. 2 Timothy 30:21 Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’

Journal: I’m trying to think back on brave things I did. Possibly joining the youth group as a leader, or taking over as lead for the nursery & preschool at church. But those aren’t necessarily brave, they are more so just positions I filled. I think something brave would be giving my testimony for the first time or being baptized in a public hot spring surrounded by friends and stranger in Colorado. I never felt brave. I feel weak and anxious more than anything, never brave.

Challenge: Think back on your life. Journal about two or three moments you or someone else might label as “brave”.


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An Inevitable Ending

The Summer of 2013, I interviewed for a family with two kids, a boy and a girl, and we played the game Headbandz. I still remember leaving that interview feeling good. Feeling like I fit in. It was a great feeling. I got the job.

When you start you don’t think about the inevitable end. The end is too far away to think about. You’re only thinking about the current moments that are right in front of you. The moments filled with the ups and downs of homework help. The moments where we create a new game to play while running around the house. The moments of snuggle time with popcorn while we watch the same episode of “insert Nickelodeon show here”. Those are the moments thought about.

I am so grateful for the years spent with this family. I am grateful for everything I have learned. I look back on these five years and I remember all the different paths I was on trying to figure out life, but the kids were always the ones who kept life interesting. Good interesting, never a boring interesting.

The kids are now grown, one is entering high school and the other one is entering middle school. The one is towering over me in height, and the other one is right at my chin. It’s hard to remember how little they were not that long ago. Currently the bitter is outweighing the sweet. And the tears are in abundance.

I know, though, that this is a family that will never leave my life. They are the kind of people who stick. And that is what gives me hope that I won’t break down into an absolute mess of tears when they start school in the fall. I am looking forward to taking them out for ice cream to catch up in the future. Or just stopping by to visit and receive big kisses from the dogs I am going to miss so very much.

So this inevitable end, the end I was reminded of at the start of the summer, it is coming far too fast. It isn’t taking it’s time like I’d hoped it would. This new chapter of my life is approaching and it’s time for me to grow up too.

I’ve wanted to be a lot of things in life. But being a nanny was by far my most favorite thing I had the opportunity to be. It was being a best friend and big sister but with structure and boundaries and incredible teaching moments. It was getting to create games and sing crazy songs that I never would have come up with if I became a doctor or a psychiatrist. It was going on adventures to the beach and amusement parks or even to the park down the road and calling it our kingdom. It was building structurally unsound forts and taking naps on the floor. It was creating pretend businesses with fake money and bank accounts. It was chalk towns on the driveway that took hours to create. It was teaching them how to make bread, pasta, and sauces. It was so many wonderful things, so many creative moments, so many fun filled days. It was also frustrating moments, moments filled with frustration and chaos. But those moments instilled patience and growth and I wouldn’t change these past five years for the world.

I’m going to miss it. These moments. These kids. This family. I’m going to miss everything about it.

The Internet & Redemption

Recently I was on a missions trip with the youth group and the question arose if the leaders (myself and four other people) have ever gone through an emo phase. I laughed clearly remembering a time where I had stretched lobes, an addiction to Hot Topic, over processed hair, and a love of heavy black eyeliner. Yes, I had gone through an extended emo phase. It was a millennial right of passage, something the Gen-Z kids just don’t understand. YouTube and MySpace were the coolest things to ever exist.

Speaking of MySpace, I was wondering how difficult it would be to recover my account. I surely hope the youth group kids wouldn’t be able to find it. To be honest I have no idea what 15 year old me was posting on there. I don’t remember. I can only imagine it was an insane person’s dedicated accounts of whatever emo bands were popular. So plenty of MCR, Panic! At The Disco, Fall Out Boy, Sleeping with Sirens, Motionless in White, etc. Just a giant collection of teenage nonsense.

Ever since college I have been very conscious of my online presence. I was a special education major and Facebook was a pretty popular place for future employers to take a peek at to make sure you are not doing anything inappropriate or unnecessary. That wasn’t a thought when I was in middle school or high school. When I posted on blogs, MySpace, or forums I wasn’t thinking of any future implications that may happen. I wasn’t thinking about future youth kids trying to find my old profiles. But now I am concerned about that.

Our online presence is a permanent one that will last the test of time and it can be a life ruining one. I have a lot of political, religious, and alternative medicine stances that I do not post online about because I know most of them will be offensive to someone either at my job or at my church.

As grateful as I am for the redemption and grace of God I am still worried some old skeletons will fly out of my closet. Most people aren’t very forgiving or understanding of people having made mistakes or having a history that is anything but pristine. To them it’s a once and done deal, you screwed up so you’re automatically ruined for life, there is no redemption.

Moral of the story…..God is perfect. People are not. Make sure you’re sure before you post online.

Rough Day

It’s been a really rough mental battle day. Lots of thoughts swarming through my brain like a cloud of angry bees telling me life would be better if I ceased to exist. It’s been an exhausting day.

I do not sleep a regular sleep schedule. It’s typically an hour here or there, not consistent, and not nearly enough, sometimes it’s a few minutes passed out on the floor at work. I know that doesn’t help but I can’t get my mind to shut off long enough to get a good nights sleep.

I’m struggling with praying about these days and during these days. I’d rather not bother God with my struggles.

Blah.

Human ShamWow

I do a fantastic job at shoving all of my stress and problems into this box already packed full and overflowing with my stress and problems. But I do this so I can absorb all the stress and problems of everyone around me. I am a stress shamwow. The human stress shamwow. Soaking up stress that doesn’t even pertain to me one mental explosion at a time. Once a year, typically around the same time I have my own gigantic mental implosion of terror. I lose my mind. Everything goes flying and I can’t handle anything anymore. My box explodes, my human stress shamwow explodes, it’s a nightmare.

Picture someone juggling 42 grand pianos that are lit on fire and someone else throws a flaming chainsaw at them. That’s my life. I am juggling 42 grand pianos that are lit on fire and someone finds it amusing to throw a flaming chainsaw at me. I’m sure it’s very entertaining for some people, but to me it’s a living breathing nightmare of epic proportions. But that’s the life I signed up for I guess. So feel free to keep throwing flaming chainsaws at me, I’m sure I’ll manage not to drop them.

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My Born Again Story

The past couple days in Colorado have been a whirlwind. From seeing new things for the first time to camping with my youth kids and fellow leaders….it’s been a lot to take in. But I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Yesterday on our drive in Colorado we stopped at Molas Pass, our incredible driver and friend read Psalm 104 as we were standing on the side of a mountain looking out over the mountains and sky that surrounded us. After he read we were encouraged to go out into the wilderness and pray on what he read. Just think about it and really chew on what was said.

I sat on a tiny rock, it had just rained and the ground was damp, I took out my journal and I wrote what surrounded me. In that moment I felt a tug on my heart and it was as if massive flood gates were opened. I bursted into ugly tears. God was talking to me on the side of that mountain. I was exhausted and defeated and constantly in a struggle trying to keep control over my own life. God had never once been in the drivers seat. He had never once been first in my life.

I broke down. Poured my heart out to Him. And I asked Christ to come into my heart and save me. I asked for forgiveness and for His Hand to guide me and protect me. I became a Christian, a Christ follower, for the first real time yesterday.

Jubilant is a good word to use to begin to describe the emotions I was feeling. Ecstatic. Overwhelmed. Nervous. But filled with an incredible high that I’d never felt before.

Today whilst standing in a hot spring in Colorado I spoke to our student ministries director about it. He was ecstatic, so excited, tears in his eyes. I said I’m hoping to get baptized when I go back home and he looked at me and said “why not now?” Why not now? I thought. He wanted to make sure it was okay with my parents. I called my mom. They were okay with it. Excited for me. But they wanted to be there. So Jayme, one of my best friends and sister in Christ FaceTimed my parents and they watched as all my youth kids and fellow leaders gathered around us in the hot spring.

Jeff explained what was going to happen. Asked me to tell everyone my story and why I wanted to be baptized. And then he asked me if I was going to follow Christ. I was then dunked into the hot spring surrounded by my loving friends and my parents watching. They prayed over me. And each person gave me a hug.

I’m currently standing in the campground bathroom while my phone is charging so I can document this. I don’t want to ever forget this.

I’m a Christian. A baptized born again Christian. I am loved. I am in a family of accountability partners. And I’m saved. I am saved from a life of constantly battling myself.

I am His.