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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The SECOND Day of the Rest of My Life

Want to know about the First Day? Click Here.

Day 2: Patience, Forgiveness, Loyalty and Commitment

I'm going to lump all of these factors into one day, one blog and one effort. I don't think I am terrible at any single one of those things, but they are all I can definitely say I have room for improvement on.

Patience. I have a bad trait that isn't as bad as it used to be. It has gotten better with time, like a fine wine. I have never truly accepted the concept of waiting. Whether it be patience on God's timing for blessings or good things to happen, patience on depending on someone else for something, or even patience for things I have absolutely no control over such as communication barriers or issues I know all about and someone else has no clue. I have what has been referenced as a 'short fuse'. I don't think a short fuse means just a short temper, but I think it means the inability to wait on ANYTHING at all and being irritated by that. Sure, I may snap on a dime at times, but it is only because I don't have the ability don't take the time to wait for things to work themselves out. I truly need to appreciate the fact that things will happen when they happen. i need to slow down and understand that not everything needs to be done or understood RIGHT THIS MINUTE. I know God wants me to be patient, although I will never pray for patience. I have learned it is a very tricky task praying for patience from God. ;)

Forgiveness. Here come the metaphors. Oh man, this, if any, is probably the worst thing on my plate. I am not at all going to have high hopes for this changing overnight, but I know I need to make an asserted effort to change this. Like I wrote in my 'Who Am I?' post, I have been disowned by so many family members it makes me dizzy, had friends go loopy and disappear, and have faced time and time again people that hurt my already bandaged heart by either directly hurting me or hurting someone I love. This has forced me into a position of not trusting easily, and in turn not forgiving easily. I feel I have endured many things for a woman of my age, many of them before I even turned 20! I am trying to figure out how to not slam shut that steel trap door that encases my heart after someone has hurt me. It is like once you are out, forget it. Don't even bother knocking to come back in because I have an opinion and a grudge. And even when they don't want back in, I know it is unhealthy to keep that same heart locked up and suffocating by trying so hard to keep it closed. I feel the healthy way to overcome this as a 'first step' is to build a chain link fence. Something that will allow people in and out (if they so choose to exit or are escorted out by the bouncers), but the room and air to keep moving forward and allow opportunity for reentry with ease. Does that sound as exhausting and impossible to you as it does to me? Goodness. But, with God all things are possible, right?

Loyalty. I am loyal. I don't feel this is a true weakness in the aspect of the ones I love, but I do feel it has it's times where it is slacking in loyalty to myself. I would die for my children and husband. Everything in my life revolves around them, as it should. I am 110% loyal and faithful to my husband. I would never betray our marriage or the vows we took to break that loyalty. I would cross the ocean for my mother. There is not a single thing I wouldn't be able to drop to help her in need. I would give my pancreas for my sister. Literally and figuratively. I would drop anything I am doing to be there for by BFF's, and would never throw them under a bus or make them feel unimportant. Without comparing depths of loyalty, I would do anything for my friends and family. BUT, I, like many mothers out there, loose the loyalty to myself and who I am as an individual at times. Sure, I have a strong personality and love (just about- hence the purpose for these 5 days of change) everything about the person I am. But I also neglect me when me needs me most. I RARELY, and when I say rarely, I mean truly like once every year or so, take time to actually do something for me OFF OCCASION or away form necessity. It is easy to treat to a pedicure or massage when Bestie is in town, run to lunch when someone initiates it or go get a haircut when my hair is most desperate for it. But what is not easy for ME is taking time selfishly. Getting a sitter so I can just walk the mall, getting my toes AND (gasp!) nails done just because I want to, or running away for a weekend to see a friend alone. Me needs me sometimes. I have a really hard time with that though, because I feel that:
work and our bank account needs me 44 hours a week
sleep needs me 49 hours a week (if I'm lucky)
MaggieMoo Designs needs me 16 hours a week at minimum
housework, shopping and laundry has me 12 hours a week
the extended family activities need me 5 hours a week
and my husband and kids need me deserve me the balance.

Am I really supposed to sacrifice that leftover time my husband and kids get for myself?? Well, the answer is yes, and I need to come to terms with that.

Commitment. This kinda ties into loyalty, but I want to approach it from another angle. I am committed to some things but not others. I truly need to be consistent. I need to finish things I start, follow through with desired projects and make time to fulfill promises. Simple, but necessary. I am very organized, and have the ability to be committed. It is more about drive. I think this is resolvable, and another trait I can surely succeed in meeting.

Colossians 3: 1-17
Rules for Holy Living

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.

Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

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