Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Brown Outs

Our electricity has been going out at least once daily for several hours, sometimes all night. They call it a "brown out" here. It gets really, really annoying when I'm in the middle of dinner or a science experiment with the kids and out it goes with no promise of when it will be on again. In some ways, it seems like my life has been a "brown out" lately. The power out. The drive gone. Trudging through the day because I know that's what I need to do. Dealing with another bad attitude, another sudden change of plans, another unhappy person.

I feel like I've been on this honest kick with myself lately. Be honest. Don't stuff it. Don't wait until later to deal with it. I've discovered through experience that "stuffing it" for now, always leads to an explosion later...

One thing I'm struggling with though is this. How do you be honest & not complain? Yeah. My being honest seems to quickly lead to a huge "O, whoa is me!", giant, complaining session. And then, I feel bad about being honest"& I'm singing the "Do Everything Without Complaining" song in my head. This usually leads back into my "deal with it later", quiet cycle. Oh, where is the balance?

I really, really like when God gives answers. Especially in wise words of those who've struggled with the same things. As these thoughts have continued to run wildly through my head, "eucharisto" (Greek word meaning- to give thanks) & Ann Voskamp's many wise words keep resounding through the wilds of my mind. If you have never read her book, "One Thousand Gifts", I would highly recommend. It is times like these that I pick up again to remind myself. 

She talks about thanksgiving that is sometimes painful. When it literally takes every ounce of strength & will to give thanks for something. When through gritted teeth, with sweat pouring down my face, I mutter, "Thank you, Lord, that I have electricity to lose." When with tears running down my face & my heart physically aching, I cry, "Thank you, Jesus, for my son who teaches me patience & consistency." When missing my family on the other side of ocean becomes almost unbearable, I say, "Thank you, Father, for family to love & a clear calling on our lives, knowing this is where we are meant to be." Yes, be honest. Be thankfully honest. 

A physical, verbal giving of thanks to the Giver of All Things. That is the answer. Even if my feelings aren't quite there, say it. Out loud. "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you." It's amazing how fast your feelings catch up. There is power in words. 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

From A Quiet One

So, I don't think anyone who knows me would say that I am a quiet person. I talk a lot & am pretty comfortable around people. But there is a part of me & a lot of others like me that is quiet. 

Do you ever find yourself telling someone or wanting to tell someone, "Just because you scream the loudest doesn't mean you'll get the most attention." Sometimes I really wish that were true. Because if you think about it, which one of your kids or friends gets the most attention? The one who screams the loudest. Who in your extended family or workplace gets the most attention? The one who causes the most drama. It's so true. The people who cause problems & make drama are the ones who get the spotlight & attention.

And then, there are the quiet ones. The ones who say, "I'm fine," when you ask how they are doing. The ones who never make a big stink about anything. The ones who always seem to have everything together. The ones that people often go to for counsel. The friend you always call to unload on. The child who outwardly is always obedient & hardly ever gets in trouble. The people who work behind the scenes without being told or noticed.

 The ones who inside have just as many problems, hurts, & drama as the others, you just never know about it. Most of the time, we are wearing the "fine & put together" mask, where the others just have the boldness & honesty not to put one on at all. Sometimes I want to scream & fall apart just so someone will notice I'm really not fine. Sometimes I would like someone who really cares to unload on. Sometimes I wish someone would notice the things I do behind the scenes. 

I do not normally write things of this nature, but I felt really strongly that this was a God thought & not a Candy one. I am not writing this for people to tell me I'm doing a good job or to feel sorry for me, but on behalf of all the other quiet ones out there who need a little attention. Some encouragement. A thank-you. 

Quiet ones- Take heart. The King of all Kings notices & He cares even when you feel taken advantage of. Be honest. Take off your mask. Bear your soul. Learn from the screamers. Maybe you should scream a little. :) Encourage another quiet one.

Screamers- Thanks for being honest. Thanks for not wearing a mask. But maybe learn to scream a little less. God hears whispers too. Take notice of the quiet ones. Go find one. Tell them you notice & give them some attention.