Gratitude Day 520
Fri., Oct. 9, 2020
Provers 17:9 – Love overlooks the mistakes of others but dwelling on the failures of others devastates friendships.
Somedays, do you feel like things click?
And then another day, NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING seems to go your way?
Friend, I feel your pain.
I know your game.
Like you, I find myself struggling and making mistakes and needing lots of do-overs.
One frustration that happens over and over?
When I keep making the same mistake.
I vow that “this will be the last time.”
Or “tomorrow will be better.”
But here’s the deal. If we depend purely on will power, we’ll fail ourselves regularly.
We’ll let others down.
We’ll find ourselves dealing with the same situations over and over and over.
How do I know this?
It’s the story of my life.
As a seasoned mistake-maker, my experience is long and wide. I’ve come to grips with the fact that I WILL make mistakes. The big question? How will I respond. React. Deal with it.
Here are some of the mistakes that I’ve made multiple times. Hundreds of times. And a few thoughts of how I’ve tried to right-up the situation. Maybe you might find one or two areas that you struggle with here as well.
The times I procrastinate and wait until the last minute. For years, I convinced myself that this happened purely because I just was “too busy.” Finally, I discovered the REAL truth. I am not always a particularly good at prioritizing. I often find myself doing the quick and easy jobs while putting off the big, important and longer projects. Suddenly, I find myself with a big project that needs lots of attention and time … and I’m short on it.
Yes, I’ve heard the helpful things about picking the most important things to do today … and doing them first. Am I the only one who looks at my to-do list and thinks, “It will look so much better if I just get some of these easy things crossed off first. THEN, I’ll do the things that need more of my time and attention.” Too often, I let the chunks of the day get sucked up in a whole bunch of little things.
My other perpetual challenge is my daily to-do lists are more like dream lists than reality lists. There is SIMPLY. NO. WAY. I’ll ever get everything done. There will ALWAYS be things that get carried over to tomorrow. These days, I’m trying to be a bit more realistic about what I CAN get done in a day. Pick three really important things and schedule the rest forward.
Yes, there are the unexpected things that happen. I had one of those things suck up a bunch of time this week, which leads me to the next mistake I often make.
The times I only saying “No” to myself … and those most important to me. The phone call or e-mail comes in and I’m asked if I can quickly squeeze something in … soon. Or now. It happened again this week. Of course, I say, “Yes.” This is what Martha’s do.
The mistake I make over and over? Every time I say “Yes” to something, I’m saying “No” to something else. We can’t do it all. Period. Maybe the urgent is important and something we should take on. Other times, maybe we should decline and put our time and energy and gifts into the most important things that God calls us to do.
It’s so difficult for me to say “No” to anyone other than myself and my very inner circle, which most often means myself and Hubby Rick. When I say fail to say “No” to us, I’m saying what is most important to us gets shifted down the list. No question, there are times when this call must be made. But other times? I really must be more diligent about protecting what’s been laid upon my heart as important to God, Rick and/or myself.
I know this is a mistake I will struggle with for, well, probably forever. Awareness is always the first step.
The times I am convinced my opinion, agenda or beliefs is right or more important than someone else’s. I thought about not addressing this mistake because it’s a hard one right now. I read and see and hear things that disappoint me and distract me … and it’s hard to let them go.
I know that I’m not an expert on many, many things. Truth? I’m not the expect on basically anything. But I have opinions and feelings and beliefs, just let everyone else.
There have been times when I’ve been criticized for NOT expressing my opinion more. Many times, I keep those thoughts to myself. Yet, I STILL tell myself that I have all the right answers, even if no one than Hubby Rick hears them.
My remedy these days? Really, truly and honestly try to be kind to others. Everyone. Even if someone has a vastly different opinion than I do. Especially when someone says or types something that almost makes my blood pressure rise. This other person is a beloved child of God, just like I am. So, it is my calling to love this person especially if I don’t like their beliefs or opinions.
Can I avoid reading or engaging in something that I don’t agree with? YES. At times, people will then assume that because I didn’t engage, I agree with this person. So be it. Right now, we DESPERATELY need strong doses of kindness. I’m going to error in trying to be kind to the limit that I can.
The times I harbor ill feelings and/or hold onto things that happened previously. It takes a strong and wise person to deal with something once … and completely let it go. I really, really, really try to do this. Sometimes, I can. Other times? Not so much.
I know my misplaced feelings affect me significantly more than anyone else. When I can let them go, it’s releasing myself from all the bad junk I’ve been carrying around. Sometimes, we just need to empty out the junk drawers of our lives. Throw some of it in the garbage. Return the items to their rightful owner. Keep only the things that bring joy and happiness into our lives.
The times I hurt someone else. There are the times when we knowingly affect someone negatively. Yes, there are also the times we do it without fully knowing this has happened.
Every time this happens? We need to get it right. Period. The two easiest … and most difficult words to say in the English language are, “I’m sorry.” Sometimes we feel that it’s not our responsibility to express remorse and ask for forgiveness. We think the other person should do it first. Most often, this person is also waiting for an apology from us.
Here’s the deal. If we apologize whether we fully think we should or not, we open up our hearts to healing. We are releasing all that bad junk that is bringing us down. Often, when one person apologizes, it leads to an apology from the other person. And isn’t this a great thing! Can I get an “Amen!”
As I go through the list of common mistakes I make, I’m beginning to realize that this is a book. I’ll keep some of the other mistakes I often make and share them another day. Soon. I promise.
Maybe you know someone who struggles with some of the same mistakes that I do. I don’t have all the answers but encourage you to share this post with them. Sometimes, it’s just helpful to know that someone else struggles with the same things that we do.
For a God that overlooks my mistakes more quickly than I do myself, I am grateful.
Holy God – It’s not fun to open up our hearts and lives and see where we make mistakes. We’d rather build an armor of shield around ourselves and try to protect ourselves from being vulnerable enough to share our shortcomings. Yet, it can be so liberating to ask for forgiveness. Know that others struggle with us. Remind ourselves that in You, we are enough. Amen.
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