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Taking My Own Advice

How many times have I given advice to one of my children, specifically my daughters with the prayer and hope that I, too can take this bit of wisdom home to the depths of my own heart and live it to show an example first.

Alas, it's harder than it seems.  We have wisdom, yes, we know what we should do, and the why we should do it.  However, in weak moments, something takes us over, and we throw the logic and the good advice delivered on a daily basis out the window, and allow fear to take over.  We allow it.  It's simply a weakness of our will.

And the fact that it's fear, makes us all the more frustrated, when we know, intellectually, there is nothing to fear.  God is with us....goes before us....and only gives us what we can handle.  Is it fear that there will be failure?  Is it fear that we might succeed?  Fear of living truly a present and aware existence? Is it fear of work, where we are afraid of effort, time or the unknown of any given situation? 

My Thinker had an incident at school where, her embarrassment led her to tears and a quick exit out of the situation.  The incident truly didn't warrant tears, but her awareness of the spotlight was enough to touch her heart so deeply, that she couldn't contain her emotion. 

After school this day, she requested a private discussion with me to go over what had happened.  After hearing her through, I explained something I've been seeing quite clearly after these many months of working closely with a team of ladies. 

I told her a painful truth, one so hard to deliver to an idealistic eleven year old, who is used to our home of justice, fairness and love.  I told her, the world isn't perfect.  It isn't fair.  Things will happen that shouldn't, people will make mistakes, and you will feel a little pain from those mistakes.  It will happen again, and again in life. 

What makes you who you are, is HOW you deal with it.  What is your reaction, what is your response.  Do you collapse in sadness, rage on in anger?  Do you forgive?  Do you recognize your own weaknesses to then be more compassionate toward others?

Some women today, have daily extreme reactions to minor situations.  And these responses are truly extreme, from serious sadness to rage to extreme condemnation etc.  And these women, they aren't happy.  They are sad all the time.  They are angry every day.  Happiness for them is fleeting, and unpredictable.

I asked Thinker, what kind of life she wanted.  Sad?  Angry?  or Happy? 

Of course, she answered, "Happy." 

And I knew what to tell her.  It's up to you and how you handle these exact kind of situations that will determine your own happiness.  Yes, personalities will factor into the equation, however the measure of maturity and trust in God's gifts, will ultimately determine how happy your life will be, every single day.

People will make mistakes, and we'll be affected.  We are human, we feel.  However, we have room to grow.  It's our own weakness to be affected by minor afflictions, and allow them to take us over.  We become consumed with ourselves, and refuse to see that God has a hand in it all.  It's so hard for us to not finger point at someone else.  They shouldn't have done it.  Okay, maybe, maybe not.  When, oh, when do we take some accountability for how we handled ourselves in any given situation?

We refuse to believe in these difficult moments that God allowed it for us....so we might learn from it....so we might be a more useful instrument for Him.  The more we react in extreme ways, the more we show our own egotism and pride, that our intentions in every detail aren't meant to please God, they are meant to please ourselves.  And with this intention, self-serving, we will always be unhappy.

If we elevate our actions to doing all out of love for God, and to please God, then it's not about us anymore.  No matter what happens, the result of anything, will be God's to own, not ours to boast on or feel guilty about or embarrassed by.

And I have come to believe, that in the end, considering the time/eternity that God is master of, that he isn't as concerned with results, as much, as He wonders if we did things with the purest of intentions.  Did we act, in big details and small ones, with the proper 'why'....which is and always should be, to please God, because we love God, and because He loves us.

Lord, thank you for the time I am able to give my children to discuss what happiness in life can look like and how to attain it.  Help me to be their first example of trust, faith and living a life based solely on the great virtue of purity of intent.

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