Tag Archives: encouragement

You Know What, Self?

A picture is worth a thousand words...my ornery daughter at her "talking-to-myself" age.
A picture is worth a thousand words…my ornery daughter at her “talking-to-myself” age.

If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, teacher, or anyone who interacts with children you know that sometimes they come up with phrases and they just stick with you. When my kids were probably 6 and 3 we were driving down the road, I can still see each of them strapped into their car seats, my daughter, looking at her hands and talking, jabbering nonsense really, a mile a minute. Her brother looks at her and says, in an irritated, you-don’t-make-any-sense tone, “What?” She looks at him and very coolly says, with an indignant air, “I was talking to myself, Tyler.” And then, turns away from him and says, obviously to herself, “You know what, self?” and continued with whatever fanciful story she was entertaining herself with. My husband and I totally died in the front seat and to this day that phrase lives on in infamy in our house.

Do you talk to yourself? Apparently I do…more than I realized. Today after dashing through the check out line at the grocery store, through the circus of traffic, and hurrying over to the football field to pick up my football superstar (I am his mom, I am allowed this opinion) my volleyball superstar (again, mom, again, my right) pipes up from the back seat, “Mom, you talk to yourself when you get frazzled.” I didn’t realize I had been narrating our drive. At least not consciously…”Let’s see, I will turn here instead of going to the other light that should be faster…nice blinker…ok person-GO! It’s your turn!” Oh that’s embarrassing! I have read where studies show that people who talk to themselves are extremely intelligent. We’ll just leave it at that…

In all seriousness though this is a subject I have been thinking of exploring now for awhile. Not my sanity, although some may say that needs to be placed before a review board and explored, but the idea of talking to myself. Not about where I am going, instead, looking back at where I have been. Today just confirmed it was time.

The frazzled monologue that we carry on with ourselves says a lot about where we have been. Allowing those things that I have written, everything from old journals to the scribblings of a quote or a thought on the back of an envelope or scrap of paper (I am a saver) to remind me of the “places” I have been, to minister to my needs today. I can hold onto the big picture things, the big life event lessons, blessings, struggles. Those are the things that leave a permanent mark. But there is always little stuff that sifts through the cracks like grains of sand and there are so often great nuggets of wisdom that are lost with them. These are the details that get lost, those “ah-ha” moments when something speaks so deeply to you right where you are, so often encouraging and uplifting, they bear remembering and repeating.

So I invite you to take a reflective journey with me as I “talk to myself.” You may choose to look at me like my son looked at my daughter and say, “What?” but I have traveled a rocky path and made it through with my faith intact and my prayer is that as we look back we can be encouraged no matter what we are facing as we look forward, and possibly share a laugh or two at my expense.

You know what, self? I think this will be fun!

Into Every Life…

We’ve all been dealt cards that we wish we could exchange. There have been times we have been ready to lay our hand down and just fold and walk away, but during the month of May I want to challenge you to see those cards for the blessings that may spring forth from them through this series that I have dubbed, “Into Every Life.” I want to challenge your definition of a “good” life and look at what a blessing may sometimes truly look like. My prayer is that as we do this we will begin to see our hand through the Dealer’s eyes.

“Into each life rain must fall,” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous words……but what if, as Laura Story in her song Blessings asks,

What if Your blessings come through raindrops?
What if Your healing comes through tears?
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near?
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise?

What if…will you join me this month as we look at this what if? If you know someone else who needs some encouragement, someone whose umbrella is tattered and torn from the downpour they have been weathering, would you please share this with them? Invite them to take this journey with us for a very real look at pain and blessings.

A Reflection in Reflection

20130728-091311.jpgWhat if I stumble? What if I fall?
While yesterday’s post (A Reflection) was challenging let me follow up today with some encouragement. I am not perfect. I don’t know anyone who is. My Christianity is very real which means that it in turn is flawed and laced in humanity. But I am living a love story, one in which I have found grace, mercy, and forgiveness on those days when I find myself stumbling, struggling, and ultimately failing. I can’t do anything to earn God’s love and in all of my shortcomings He continues to pour out His love and forgiveness because I have accepted His gift of grace, salvation for a struggling soul.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. (Ephesians 2:8 NLT)

On those days when we find ourselves needing a re-do or a mulligan remember what Charles Stanley teaches on the subject of second chances. “Sometimes your burdens may seem endless. You repeatedly go through the same trial, making the same mistakes. The last time through, you thought you had truly mastered this area of your life. However, now you realize that it continues to cause you pain.

You question if God has abandoned you or if you have displeased Him so greatly that He would allow this suffering to persist. You wonder if you will ever learn the lesson God desires to teach you.

Take heart; the Lord loves you, He is with you, and He will never forsake you. He allows the trials in your life because He desires to give you freedom through them and show you His love.

He is drawing you close through this repeated problem. Do not despair. Cling to Him and He will fill you with His love.”

In return, all we can do is reflect this love to a broken world in search of second chances and show them through your walk, imperfect and stumbling though it may be, the gracious forgiveness you, yourself, have received.