A work in progress…

encouragewThe other day I made a very public mistake. You may not have noticed it. I certainly didn’t notice it because if I had, I would not have done it. I am not a perfectionist by any means but when I share information I want it to be accurate, properly spelled, and all that.

Almost the entire day had gone by and finally someone pointed out that I had made a mistake. Actually, I had made several. (Oh how I hate when that happens!) Immediately, I got to work to correct it! And, sadly, it took several tries. For whatever reason, the initial person to point out the error was not able to assist in the correction. However, another person stepped in to stick with me through the process with a lot of patience, she was very pleasant and helpful.

I want to be that kind of person!

A complete stranger stepped in to work with me. How thoughtful and kind! And I wondered, “Am I the one who just points out mistakes or am I the person who will patiently stick with someone as they get it together?” Good question! Sometimes I am both!

I have noticed in myself that there are times I have a lot of compassion for others and there are other times I am so incredibly impatient. Sometimes it has to do with the kind of day I had or the amount of free time I have to help another person. And, sadly, sometimes it has to do with the person I am in conversation with or, at the very least, my perception of the person.

Sometimes I am so stingy with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and gentleness!

But when I am on the receiving end of correction, am I approachable and teachable? Am I willing to listen to what someone has to say and consider it? Naturally, I am more willing to hear from someone I know and love and I know knows and loves me. But there are times a complete stranger, or even someone I don’t particularly like, has valuable insight for me. Can I hear it?

I have to practice receiving correction with grace and humility because it is not my inclination.  My first response is usually to be a little defensive but I have been working on that. There are numerous opportunities for me to improve on my response. What can I say? I am a work in progress!

Heavenly Father, give me your discernment when someone shares advice or correction with me. Lord, grant me discernment when I am inclined to share advice or correction with others! In Jesus’ Name, Amen!

On the Road,

Liz

p.s. Can you tell I am having too much fun with Canva?

Fruitw

Pray Without Ceasing!

Pray without ceasingwMy pastor posted a disturbing article the other day and I cannot seem to get it out of my mind. It’s about young women who worked with radium to help the war effort but the chemical they worked with was toxic.They were nicknamed “Ghost Girls”.  Here is a link to the article…

The whole thing makes me sick. As these gals were sacrificing their health there were people who knew better, benefitted from it, and let them continue on. I am sure there are many other toxic things in our lives that we just don’t know about yet. Sadly, there are some people who know about it but they just keep quiet.

They see the toxicity but don’t say a word.

That behavior is common in organizations. And, while I wish it wasn’t true, it also makes frequent appearances in the church and in families. Toxic people work their way into the lives of unsuspecting people and can make life hell. The church is very vulnerable to this sort of thing. They are frequently desperate for volunteers and have limited resources so they grab anyone and put them into service without vetting them. Doing some level of background check might not prevent every unhealthy person from worming their way in but it can definitely catch some.

Sometimes we are aware of toxicity in an organization and see backstabbing, public “floggings”, and other unhealthy behavior, and we stay. Why?

Here are a few reasons why I have remained in unhealthy organizations for far too long:

  • I hate conflict.
  • I can’t walk away from the others in the trenches.
  • I want to be a part of the solution.
  • There are wonderful, healthy people in the organization.
  • I am passionate about the mission.
  • The organization has so much potential.
  • I care for the people I work with or for.

But in the process I have sacrificed:

  • Sleep
  • Healthy interactions
  • Other relationships
  • Time with our family
  • Energy
  • Perspective
  • Spiritual health
  • Money
  • Physical health
  • And more…..

Good heavens! The workplace is not supposed to be that way! More importantly, the church is not supposed to be that way!

God can change a dysfunctional system and bring it to a healthier place. He can and He does. But I need to know my own limits.

When you are aware of or involved in an unhealthy organization, pray for God to bring to light whatever is hidden in the dark. Be careful that your “helpfulness” doesn’t mask the unhealthy behaviors that need to be exposed. Pray for those who are being taken advantage of. Pray for discernment about your involvement. If you know of people who are weary trying to remain in a toxic environment, find ways to encourage them. Pray for God to either heal the situation or give them the courage to leave the situation until it is healthier. There is so much to cover in prayer so pray without ceasing!

On the Road,

Liz

PrayerPoints~ Monday, March 14th

week 5-W

Today’s PrayerPoint ~ Psalm 103

“Praise the Lord, O my soul; all my inmost being, praise is holy name. Praise the Lord, O my soul and forget not all his benefits.

He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases; he redeems my life from the pit and crowns me with love and compassion.

He satisfies my desires with good things, so that my youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Psalm 103:1-5

When I am struggling — and there always seems to be some sort of thing I dread that is coming up — it is really important for me to focus on praising and thanking God for what He has done and recalling those things. Reminding myself of God’s provision in my life is so important..sometimes I have a crazy short-term memory!

I also think it is helpful to encourage others when they struggle to remember. There are times when life is hard and there seems to be no good choice out there. Remembering that God goes before and behind me and hems me in is sometimes hard when  I am caught up in a moment (or days) of discouragement.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Is there someone in your life who can use some encouragement today?

Below is another great Integrity Music Song. Enjoy!