Love is Patient, Love is Kind.

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never ends.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 ESV
A couple of months ago my ten year old was driving me crazy.  I have no idea why, but she was on my last nerve.  I made the decision to change my thinking and try to avert my frustration.  I made the choice to think and say over and over to myself “Love is patient, Love is kind.”  I jokingly said to my husband that I would have the whole verse memorized by the end of the day.  Well, I didn’t have it memorized.  In fact, I didn’t even read the rest of the verse.  1 Corinthians 13 is very popular at weddings but as I just read the verse again for this post, it is just as appropriate for parenting.  I have a step daughter who is now in her 20s.  Even though she is no longer a minor, I am still a parent.  I still worry about her decisions and shake my head when I don’t understand something she does.  I have to remember that no matter what, she is my daughter and I love her.  Nothing she does or says will ever stop that love.  That is the essence of this verse.  Love covers everything; it never ends.  When you love someone you don’t embarrass them on purpose (okay, when we have teenagers we like to embarrass them a little, but nothing that would result in life long scars).  We don’t resent our children or speak rudely to them.  We can be firm with our children and still respectful.  What an incredible example to for our children to see how to behave.  There is much to learn from this verse.

I think I am going to put this on an index card and post it them around the house.  These verses can carry us through every day life of marriage and parenting.  This could be great to mediate on the start of every day.  Let’s start today.

Power of Words

Over the past few weeks I have been making a point to spend time reading the Bible.  I decided to start easy with Proverbs.  Proverbs is like Psalms – pretty straightforward and very poetic.  That’s what I need- straightforward and if it sounds pretty even better.
 
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where someone has wronged you or you heard someone did something wrong then you told others? First thing that comes to mind is high school.  Oh, the hormones are raging which leads to lots of emotions.   We would feel the urge to tell everybody everything.
 

Hopefully as we get older we outgrow that but it’s not always the case.  Businesses that I have worked for at times seemed like professional high school.  We got paychecks, but the gossip, rumors and assumptions ran rampant.  Even as I knew better to participate, I would find myself being sucked into the dark vortex.  It would be an internal fight to rise above it.

 
Proverbs 17:9
“He who covers over an offense prompts love, but whoever repeats the matter separates close friends.”
Just because someone you know screws up doesn’t mean everyone else needs to know.  I’m not talking about abuse or illegal activity.  I’m thinking of if your kid gets in trouble at school you don’t need to broadcast it. A better example is your husband insists on doing a home improvement project himself even though you think a professional would be better. See where I’m going?   If his way back fires, hopefully with no serious injury to body or home, you don’t need to rub his face in it or call your mother, sister, and best friend to gloat about it .
 

Proverbs 17:14
“Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out.”

Your sister experimented with her hair – again.
Your best friend went out with a guy who you knew was a loser, and she called to complain.
Your husband came home late, the kids are cranky, you’ve got cramps, and he is complaining that fast food is dinner.
There are times when we need to zip our lip, take a deep breath and ask God for help.  “Lord,  you know how I feel right now.  Cover my mouth.  Help me speak with kindness.”
 

It’s not easy.   It takes practice.   I need to practice this.   Perhaps that’s why these verses jumped out at me.   Hubby and I live in a town home development.   There are committees that certain requests need to go through.   We submitted a request months ago and approval still has not been granted.  We think we are making a good faith effort to get the correct information and it seems to never end.  Let’s just say words and tones of voice (on both sides) have not always been  easy going and kind.  I started praying for better tone and I am noticing a change in hubby and I which is good.  I continue to pray for the other party.  Oh, how the Bible is full off instruction and relevance still to this day.  Amen.

 

I want to hear your voice

I went on vacation, daughter is back in school and I need to get back on track.  Of course, in 6 1/2 days I am having wrist surgery (I’m not counting down or anything) and will get thrown out of whack again, I guess.  However, I need your help with a project I have been mulling over and jotting ideas down over the past few months.

One of my goals or bucket list items is to get published.  The project I am working on is an e-book about Caring for Loved Ones with short or long term illnesses.  Of course this may sound like a really broad topic and once I hear your stories, this one book could very well go into two or even three.

This project has been inspired by events in my own life over the past 3 years or so.  Items I am looking for include:

  • What resources helped you or your loved one with an illness or injury? (i.e. American Cancer Society, MDA, etc)
  • What was the best type of help you received from friends, family?
  • Did you have an experience where someone meant to help or say something encouraging, but it just came out all wrong?  What was it?
  • Was a sense of humor/laughter part of your treatment plan?
  • How did your faith help/hurt your experience?
  • What lessons did you learn from your experience?

This book is meant to compile the lessons I learned and I would love to hear about your lessons and hopefully we can help someone else going through a difficult time.  Post your comments below.

I will keep you updated on the progress of the book.  Have a great weekend!Image

Scheduling my Days

 

 

 

 Month at a View 2013-08-09 09.46.22

Above are pictures of my Planner Pad in use.  It has month at a view and weekly view.  I usually don’t use the month views, the boxes are never big enough.  But these are big enough for me to write in event and time.  It is great for scheduling my part-time job, responsibilities at church and days off from school.  The weekly view in this planner is fantastic.  The top row I can sort out tasks by category: myself, house, scrapbooking, mom’s group, church, etc.  The second row is daily tasks.  I can move items from top row to second row day specific and I also write down daily household tasks I want to accomplish.  The third bottom row has times for appointments.  I think I may have found the perfect planner for me.  I am thinking for next year of getting the slightly smaller version so it fits in all my purses.

What kind of planner do you use?

Staying focused

As I get older I am noticing that I have a harder time paying attention and for longer periods of time.  There can be a couple of reasons: 1. getting older 2. technology.  I have an iPhone and tablet, love facebook and love getting email.  By having beeps and notices when you get a message or response, it compels you to keep checking.  Which of course interferes with the ability to have a conversation with another human being and finish simple tasks.  I do house paperwork at the desk with the computer.  My other distraction  is YouTube.  That’s a whole other post.

I put a post it on the monitor that says, “I will complete one task at a time.”  It’s pretty much re-training my brain.  Sometimes I need to get a timer and set a limit; usually no more than 15 minutes.  I have also started keeping a to-do list.  This accomplishes two things: 1.  I have written down everything I’d like to do so I don’t have to worry about forgetting it.  2.  It helps to cross things off to feel a sense of accomplishment.  There have been times when I needed to write down “get dressed” and “eat.”  Those were times when my depression was not under control.  It was something I learned in therapy.  It might seem overly obvious or simple, but if you are having trouble focusing – have two lists.  One list of daily “Must Do” and another for “Want To.”  By seeing the “must dos” crossed off it propels you forward to the “want” and keep you on track.

What are some things you do to stay focused and keep on track?Image

Favorite apps & teasers

I think I wrote before that for Mother’s Day this year, my hubby bought for me a Google Nexus 7 tablet.  I just love it.  It has a ton of memory, I can listen to music, watch videos, read books, have my calendar, social network apps – it is just awesome.
I thought I would take a moment and share with you some of my favorite apps:
Mint (can be used on Apple and Android products and desktop) – FREE – http://www.mint.com.  This is a great personal finance app to help you track your spending and even set financial goals.
Evernote – (can be used on Apple, Android and desktop) FREE – http://www.evernote.com.  An electronic notebook where I keep track of gift ideas, scrapbooking ideas and wish list of products, blog ideas and notes, meeting notes from my volunteer commitments, vacation lists, etc.
Cozi (Apple, Android and desktop) – I use the free version.  There is a gold version you can purchase but I don’t see the need for that version.  http://www.cozi.com.  I found out about this app from my favorite FlyLady.  In the calendar I can assign the appointments to different members of the family, other family members can sign into the site/app and access the calendar as well.  I also have a Master Grocery Shopping List set up as well as a Master Housework list set up.
Youversion Bible app – apple, android, desktop – FREE.  http://www.youversion.com.  This Bible is fantastic in a couple of ways.  First, you can carry the Word with you wherever you go.  Second, there are several versions of the Bible (NIV, King James, Common English Bible, Amplified Bible for example) so chances are you can find the version you are most comfortable with and a wonderful way to compare scriptures among different translations.  Third, many of the versions have audio components so you can hear the Word being spoken.
I only download free apps at this point.  It is very helpful for me to have apps that i can access through the desktop as well.  Since my favorite apps can be accessed on my tablet, i am thinking that when my apple phone contract is up, I will go backwards to a “dumb” phone and use my tablet for my electronic needs.  I hardly ever use my phone as a phone.  It really is for emergencies and contact with my husband.  I do text on occasion with my sister and younger family members (stepdaughter and niece) so my next phone will need texting capability.
What are some of your favorite apps?
TEASER…
I have felt led by the Spirit to start my in depth writing projects.  So some of my blog posts will be shorter and much lighter in nature so I can focus more time and energy on these projects.  From time to time, I will ask for your suggestions, opinions on some of the topics.  Just a few teasers….a drama about Jesus and the two Marys (this idea has been on my heart for a few years and I finally feel ready to write); publish an e-book about caring for loved ones with short and long term illnesses; and a more recent idea which has me very excited – a series on the 10 commandments and how they are relevant for today.  Please pray for me that I follow God’s will and that my words are pleasing to God and His work here on earth.
Continue to enjoy this wonderful summer and remember, this is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Healing in Process – follow up

Prayer works!  I had a great appointment the other day with my hand doctor.  After looking at the most recent MRI, we decided the best course of action was a steroid shot.  The pain I have been experiencing is on the top part of my wrist or the dorsal area.  He called that pain “noise.”  The thinking is to quiet that “noise” and determine the source of the pain.  While doing his examination he pressed on something called a pique tendon and I experienced pain.  If the shot takes care of the dorsal pain and when I go back in a month, if that tendon area is still sore, that is our culprit and that can be taken care of surgically.

I am already feeling a huge relief from the dorsal pain, but still wear my wrist brace most of the day.  I do not want to over use it or aggravate it.  I am also being careful of that tendon spot.  I do not want to make that worse either.

Regardless, I feel so much better and much more optimistic and have renewed faith that prayer works and my healing is truly underway.  God works in His own way and timing.

I will keep you posted and my next entry will be more fun and easy going.  :)