Wednesday, November 21, 2012

I Wish I Had Kept That

I was in the thrift store today (that's my kind of shopping!) and it was filled to overflowing with Christmas decorations all kinds of wonderful things. As I was leaving I heard a man tell one of the workers, "I can't believe it. So much of this stuff looks like the stuff I brought in. It's so cool. I wish I had kept it."

I wonder if we treat our relationships like that sometimes. I am so bad at keeping in touch with friends, even locally. I misplace phone numbers that were written on pieces of paper. I don't take the few seconds it would take to put it in the computer or an address book so I'd know where to find it. I hate to write letters. I always feel like I'm writing a form letter (which I will do for Christmas this year). People don't feel valued if you don't keep in touch. They feel like a foster child that got left out in the cold, or gets shuffled from one home to another (or from one friend to another).

With all of our modern conveniences, texting, e-mail, blogging, cell phones, Facebook, Twitter, wouldn't you think it would be easier to keep in touch? I don't know about anyone else, but I know I am too easily distracted by all the glitter and toys, the apps, or even just learning to use the silly things, that I neglect people I really care about. The biggest regret of my life is losing friends I have taken for granted. Don't be like me. Tell your friends you appreciate them. Send an e-card or a text message. Call them and ask how their day is going. Make plans for lunch or a girl's night out to see a movie. Plan a hiking trip that won't take all day. Plan a picnic with your friends and their kids. Make the most of your friendships while you still have them.

God bless and have a blessed Thanksgiving. What do you think? Tell me about your experiences. You can use a nickname or just initials, a CB handle, whatever you choose. You can remain anonymous but I'd like to hear from you.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Don't Be A Judge

Most of us tend to be critical of others in some way, at some point in our lives. We don't mean to be cruel or thoughtless; we just are sometimes. We say things in a way that puts someone else down or makes them feel small. Sometimes we don't even realize we are being mean-spirited. Sometimes when we do realize it we excuse ourselves by saying, "Well, I'm only human," or "I can't help it; it's just the way I am."

The Bible tells us in Matthew chapter 7, the first five verses that we are not to judge others because we don't judge ourselves with the same standard. We tend to expect more of others than we do ourselves. It goes on to say that God will judge us by the same standard with which we judge others. We should look at ourselves and see where we need to change, then ask for God's help. 

Ephesians 4:32 says, "Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven you." You'll be happier if you just accept others for who they are. 

Friday, November 16, 2012

Communication is the Key

We all know relationships can be very difficult. Even with people we are close to and get along with, still, we can get our feelings hurt, take something the wrong way, or jump to conclusions. The holidays are almost upon us. Did you get the invitation you expected? Did you forget to return a phone call, thereby hurting someone else's feelings? Did your brother (or sister, parent, best friend, etc.) really mean what they said? Or did you just take it wrong?

I am one of those people who suffers from hoof and mouth disease. Writing is easy (easier, anyway) because I can think about what I want to say and how it will come across to the hearer. In conversation I don't have that luxury and things often don't come out of  my mouth they way I intend them. I am a professional apologizer.

My three oldest grandchildren live in Tennessee. They have full lives, and apart from birthdays and holidays, probably don't think much about distant grandparents. Their mom has her hands full just keeping up with them and the home business. I don't hear from her nearly as often as I would like and it's easy for me to think that she just doesn't care about my feelings, or that she's upset with me about something, or a dozen other negative things. The truth is, she's probably extremely busy and doesn't have the energy to think about the grandparents several states away. So I'm swallowing my negativity and will send a nice letter and Thanksgiving card to the family. Maybe I'll hear back. It's worth a try and better than writing something that will upset her. What do you think? Leave me a comment.