Archive for September, 2011

Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places

September 30, 2011

What a miserable existence to keep longing and hoping for a specific person or family members to show you love and they refuse. You try to block it out of your mind and for a time, that works. Then the ache returns followed by tears. Why do we long for love so much? Why do we long for it from somone incapable of giving it or showing it?

God who is love made us to love. The “ache” of absence always turns my eyes and my heart back to God. He loves completely always. He is never “hot” or “cold” towards us based on our performance. Solid as a Rock.

He has been with me in every season of life, knowing every hurt and disappointment, seeing every tear, comforting me, and cheering me on with every accomplishment, because He made it possible.  

I remember Him reassuring me as I walked to kindergarten that He loved me. I remember Him standing by me, when the man I loved would not. He reminds me over and over, “I will NEVER leave you or forsake you.” What matchless love! I couldn’t live one day without it, wouldn’t want to. How people make it in life without the imprint and embrace of God’s love is beyond me.

His Love is indeed more than enough.

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Managing Expectations

September 24, 2011

I’ve come to the conclusion that usually at the root of every disappointment is unfulfilled expectations. We ask a friend to do us a favor and the answer is “no” or there is silence. We thought we nailed that job interview, but no follow-up call comes. It was a great first date (or so we thought), but we never hear from the person again: no call, no text, no tweet, no facebook mention. Nothing.

We are sad, bordering on depression. If only we hadn’t set ourselves up with our expectations. We want to blame the other person for his or her freewill response (including the decision not to respond), yet we overlook our reaction, which is the only thing we can control.

I have to remind myself constantly to take my expectations, all of them, off of people, and put them on God (even in small matters). I remember the time  I was so disappointed that I cried in the middle of the bed after not getting a job offer for my “dream” assignment. After I stopped shedding tears, I asked God “why?” He said, I was waiting for you to ask me. First of all, you never took the time to ask me if this job were my plans for you. You simply assumed that it was since it was what you wanted. Second, you must trust that I know what’s best for you and I am the God of “closed” doors as well as “open” doors.

It took me years later to see that God was right. That job would have  taken my career in a totally different direction. I prefer the way that God orchestrated it.

So what’s the answer? Give people the freedom to please or disappoint you. Train yourself to think the best and not the worst. Refuse to allow a root of bitterness to sprout up. Give all expectations to God and see Him in the refusals.  The psalmist said, “My soul waits only upon God for my expectation is from Him.” God can handle all of our expectations. Humans can’t.

Intentional Gratitude

September 9, 2011

When I was praying this morning an idea came to me that I had never tried before: intentionally thank God for the great qualities you admire in family members; refuse to focus on the ones you don’t. I did just that. I named each person and thanked God for what made him special. This was a breakthrough exercise for me.

It’s so easy to fill our minds with what’s wrong with a person or a decision they made rather than what’s good about them. I’m so glad that when God looks at me, He chooses to fill His mind with His plans for me, His love for me, and the masterpiece He is creating as I cooperate with Him.

Let’s thank God for our family members and intentionally focus on their personal best.

Heart Check-up

September 8, 2011

I spoke to a group of singles last Saturday night about making this practice a priority: a heart check-up. Not of our physical heart, but of our innermost being, the master control of our life, the seat of our intellect, emotions, will, attitudes, and our actions. Why? Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep (or guard) your heart with all diligence, for out of it flows the issues of life.”

Our “heart” is our most valuable commodity. It controls everything we do. What’s lodging in yours? Envy, jealousy, anger, lust, bitterness, insecurity, pride, unforgiveness, racism, arrogance, gossip, or slander?

Get serious about extracting (by God’s power) everything that is destroying your heart. I got angry during a conversation recently. The encounter forced me to drop to my knees and ask God to clean my heart of all hurt and disappointment and change how I “react” to others’ actions. I also apologized to the person and asked for forgiveness. I didn’t realize I had this “heart” issue until I had that conversation. That’s why a heart check-up needs to be regular.