Stephanie’s Blog

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Agreeing to Disagree…Agreeably.

February 25th, 2011 by stephanie

I don’t know why I was so surprised at the frustration over not seeing eye to eye with a particular individual. It is a very simple premise. That is why wars are fought. You see things one way, I, with my different background and beliefs see things another way. You dig in. I entrench. Shots get fired. And before you know it, the battle rages.

People who want to eradicate war are ignoring a very human reality. One that will never be wiped away. I am not going to change the way you were brought up and how you believe. In turn, it is not very likely that you will change my mind either. What to do, what to do, what to do?

There is a saying I have taken to heart many times over the years. “When in a tug of war, let go of your end.” If you think about it, you will begin to see the wisdom in that statement. If both sides are huffing and puffing and pulling with all their might, and suddenly, one side just “let’s go” what happens? That’s right, the side left with the rope all falls down.

Now, am I saying to just give up, even when you believe deeply about something? No. Am I saying if you get tired of the fight, let go? No. Not that either. What I am saying is that many times in our lives, certain arguments and disagreements simply aren’t worth the fight. Period. Sometimes, one side just needs to let go, accept that the two sides shall never agree, and move on. It’s that easy.

If there is a struggle in your life that you are holding onto. If you deep down know that you are not going to change your way of thinking, and too, you know deep down, the other person is not going to change, then why keep fighting? Neither of you are going to successfully convince the other. Someone has got to let go. It might as well be you. Save your energy for the crises. The real things in life that need your attention and matter.

Just my thoughts,

“And Forgive Us Our Trash Baskets…”

February 19th, 2011 by stephanie

Hearing myself laughing out loud in my kitchen as I read, I figured I’d continue. The email titled “Church Kids” was obviously pretty good. It was a kind of “kids say the craziest things” collection and I have to admit, these were new to me. It was one child’s version of the Lord’s prayer, however, that really hit home. It went like this: “And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those that put trash in our basket.”

Wow, I thought. If that child only knew how right on the money they were!.

Isn’t it the truth? It’s easy for me to ask God to forgive the sin in my life. (My personal trash basket.) But oh how much harder it is to forgive those that frustrate and complicate my life with their sins. The ones that put their trash in my basket of life.

I certainly don’t want God remembering or punishing me for my flub ups. Yet, for some reason, I don’t seem to mind Him recalling the offenses of the people who have wronged or hurt me. I would imagine you understand and may be going through something of this nature right now.

It’s in those times that I have to consciously remind myself that God has forgiven and loves the folks that hurt me. I didn’t say it was easy. But the reality is this-Christ died for their sins too. Not just mine. Sure, I’d like to think I am the center of my Creator’s world. But I’m not. There’s a few billion more out there that He has His eye on and cares about as well. In an odd way, that’s comforting. Why? Because it means that He deals with my trash and your trash everyday-and He can handle it. Our trash baskets don’t phase Him a bit and what’s inside of them doesn’t change His love for either of us. That’s a pretty cool thought.

There’s a great verse that sort of helps me see that God just might be the great trash taker-outter.
It reads: And as far as sunrise is from sunset,
he has separated us from our sins. Psalm 103:12

Just my thoughts,

PS: When I was a small child, attending Christian school, we were asked to write out the Lord’s Prayer. Years later, I found it among my things. My personal copy started off: “Our Father who aren’t in Heaven…” Oh well…I think I turned out pretty ok anyway. 🙂

Is Silence Really Golden?

February 16th, 2011 by stephanie

The Power of…silence.
I remember watching a campaign ad that had just been released. As the images faded in and out, I realized there was only music…no words. The only message was the one that was written on the screen matching each image.

I am often amazed at the power of silence. A power I truly wish I personally fully understood and harnessed. But alas, my words usually find their way out into the world as we know it.

Do you ever notice that when someone sits silent, there’s a tendency to think they might just know something we don’t know? It’s like they are holding in some grand secret that will be disclosed only at the proper place and time. And we await that moment with baited breath.

Then, there’s the person who, that whatever comes into their mind you can bet will exit their mouth. Those folks don’t always realize it, but many times, the expression of their thoughts is simply dismissed by their hearers.

How many times have I heard that little voice deep in my own heart warn me, “Keep it to yourself.” But, alas, my pride or whatever it is at the moment gets the best of me.

If you are just dying to say something today, but that warning system seems to be quietly beeping deep down inside, might I suggest, “Save it.” Save the expression of your frustration for a better time. A better place.

There’s an ancient proverb, or two, that backs up that tidbit of advice. It goes like this:
Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise; when he closes his lips he is considered prudent. Proverbs 17:28

I like this one too:
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; a time to be silent and a time to speak. Ecclesiastes 3:7

Just my thoughts. Yours?

Valentines Day: Is it Worth it?

February 7th, 2011 by stephanie

February is HEART month. In more ways than one. This is the season that all good people in a relationship are encouraged, no, let’s face it, expected, to focus on the following:
-Dinner Out
-a Gift
It all depends on who is in our lives as we approach this holiday of the heart.
If there is a special lady in your life, may I suggest that you have something planned. Even if it’s bad economy/recession-friendly. You can’t do the 5-Star restaurant this year. Not to worry. A nice cozy, inexpensive place will do. Just make sure it’s an enviraonment where you can “chat”. SHE will want to “talk” even if you feel you have nothing to say. Brush up on a bit of celebrity gossip. (Some gal at work can provide you a few talking points.) Maybe check out a few hit songs of late. And anything else your “girl” is interested in. See if you can’t get a bit of scoop in advance. Or, default to what you did this week. Yes. What you did.

I know this may be a tough one, but for the good of the order: Don’t expect too much. It just isn’t necessary and it doesn’t make love, well…love. Love is about who the two of you are when you’re together. A good match. Hopefully. So, let him have his night and do as best he can and then have the grace to praise him for it.

Ok, this is where we don’t spend the evening in a gallon of ice cream. Statistics show that (unfortunately) most couples this coming Sunday just might not have that romantic evening they were planning. Some will squabble. Others’ expectations will not be met and they will pout. And, well, things happen.
Now, we all know some will have a wonderful evening, and you know GOOD for them. Let’s all be adults and cheer them on.

But for you dear savvy, single friend, this is your night to enjoy those in your life that truly are there for you when the chips are down. Speaking of chips, grab a few of your favorite bags and a couple of movies you’ve been wanting to see and call those extra special friends over for some good ‘ol “friend” time.
Or, if you’re like me, hitting that favorite hole-in-the-wall Mexican place with your favorite pals is a must-do.

Whatever the case this year, here are my highly overrated tips for you:
1. Make plans now. They don’t have to be grand. Just make them.
2. Pick your absolute favorite person or pals.
3. Do something you really love to do and ask them, today, to join you.

Pretty simple. And with that, we should all have a very happy Valentine’s Day.
PS: Guys, Valentines Day is next Monday.

Just my thoughts.

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