Monday, August 15, 2011

Loving Difficult People , A New Perspective

I enjoyed the first part of Beth Moore's message, "Loving Difficult People", so much I had to go on and watch the rest of them. This message was so humbling. It taught me to see issues with difficult people from a different perspective.

Honestly, I just thought that for some reason, God didn't want me to have great relationships with the difficult people in my life. I prayed for years to have closer relationships with these people. As I grew impatient, and as matters seemed to get worse instead of better, I prayed for God to just help us get along with each other. I even went as far as confronting the people and explained that certain things they did hurt me. I offered my apologies to things I may have done that causes them to treat me the way they do, but this would just add fuel to their fire.

I then approached the situation with constant prayers for strength to offer forgiveness, whether they wanted it or not. I knew forgiveness couldn't be the end, because it didn't seem to leave me fulfilled. Satisfied, maybe, but not fulfilled. I would pray with wonder if I actually did forgive, because the matters seemed to get more and more challenging.

After this message, I realize that I have the ability to love, because God first loved me. Therefore, my love tank is filled from having His approval, not theirs. I can still offer them love without receiving it. I may never receive it. My only job is to love them. God will handle the rest. I need to find my peace in that.

I think that I saw things from the perspective of, "If you are nice to them, they'll be nice to you." This isn't always true. This is not what God means when he says to love the unlovely. He offers no promises that they'll love back. It's selfish of me to assume this. Instead, God tells me that He'll love me no matter how much I love them. BUT, if I don't love them, regardless of their response, I will not look like Him. He will not be seen through me. Basically, this isn't a mission to gain approval from these difficult people anymore. I already feel like a load of work is lifted off. It takes the chore of trying so hard out of it. I can be me, and just choose to love them. This opens the opportunity for God to work through me. He'll do all the work.

Here are the links to parts 2-6 of this message.

Monday, August 8, 2011

WOW 10 Years!

I can't believe Greg and I have been married 10 years. Time flies. I've invited Greg to join me in writing this post since this is a celebration we share equally. Our marriage has definitely had its ups and downs, but mostly it's on the upswing. I am so blessed to have such a great man for my partner. He is the greatest gift I could ever have on earth. I believe this celebration calls for some lists in honor of 10 years. This is what we've come up with.

Top 10 things that make our marriage work:
10. Know each others' sensitivities and honor them.
9. Learn each others' love language and practice it.
8. Never talk about each other in a negative way to others.
7. Build each other up. Compliment each other.
6. Say good things about each other to others. Especially those that irritate each other.
5. Leave family drama with the family, and move away. Keep extended family time to a minimum to avoid the drama. This is Biblical.
4. COMMUNICATE with each other. Never keep secrets.
3. Make time for each other/date nights.
2. Be true friends and speak TRUTH to each other, no matter if it's hard to hear.
1. Have God as the center of your relationship.

Top 10 Hardest things we've dealt with the past 10 years.

10. Living together. We went from seeing each other once a week to living together.
9. Unemployment off and on.
8. Changing careers.
7. Fertility issues.
6. A huge move.
5. Living apart for 3 months.
4. Becoming parents and balancing that with time with each other.
3. Selling our house in a bad economy.
2. Finances / getting out of debt.
1. In laws/families

Top 10 Things I LOVE about being married.
10. The partnership.
9. Making decisions together.
8. Unchaperoned snuggles on the couch.
7. It feels like we're playing house.
6. Waking up every morning to each other.
5. Coffee in bed with each other before Kirsten wakes up.
4. Kirsten snuggling in bed with us on Sat. mornings to watch cartoons and discuss the day.
3. Parenthood and everything with it.
2. Being each others' wing man/wing woman. When we want out of something we use the other person as an excuse to not do it...oops, just gave away our secret
1. Each others' company.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Greg!

My most favorite guy in the world has a birthday tomorrow! Since we'll be out celebrating tomorrow, I am going to post my tribute to Greg today.

Top 33 Things I love about Greg!

33. He's the smartest guy I know.
32. He's brilliant.
31. He's the sweetest guy I know.
30. He's considerate of others.
29. He has integrity. I don't know many people I can say that about these days.
28. He's completely independent. Has been as long as I've known him...since he was 18.
27. He doesn't take advantage of people, and feels strongly against doing such.
26. He is an amazing person.
25. He treats me like a queen.
24. He treats Kirsten like a princess.
23. He's a great listener.
22. He's very patient.
21. He's slow to anger.
20. He doesn't talk about people or gossip.
19. He is compassionate.
18. He'll do anything to help out anyone.
17. He has his priorities straight.
16. He's not a pushover.
15. He takes care of himself.
14. He's fun.
13. He's hilarious.
12. He's a hard worker.
11. He's not lazy.
10. He's got extremely strong faith.
9. He's adorable.
8. He's got a great smile.
7. He smells good.
6. He looks cute in anything.
5. He's got my back if I encounter an issue with a "difficult person."
4. He's not someone to mess with.
3. He will never put you down or make you feel dumb for not knowing computer stuff.
2. I love how he calls out big talkers without making it obvious.
1. He's got a huge heart.

Happy 33rd Birthday, Greg. I hope it's great! Love you.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Loving Difficult People

I was doing my occasional YouTube scan tonight and I came across this Beth Moore message.

It's 1 of 6. Like everyone else, I have some "difficult people" to love in my life. I have prayed for years for God to allow the relationships I have with these people to be easier to deal with. I have 3 difficult people in my life that at times seem to take turns poking me with their thorns. I know everyone has those difficult people they deal with. This message gave me some insight into what I can do to try to learn to not only deal with them, but with God's grace, learn to love them. It's easy to love those who love us back. But it's quite a challenge to love those who don't care for us. I am choosing to face the challenge in obedience and allow God to work on me so He can work through me.

My notes from the message:
1- Change my attitude about the situations
2- Remain in prayer, but take my pride out of it
3- Realize that God's got His hand in this and He's got a plan

These are small steps, but I think they are some that I could go on and try to achieve.