I knew this would happen. I knew I would post Momma-isms and then come up with more as time went on. I just say way too many things around here to sum them up as quickly as I did.
Now, if I wrote a post about the crappy things I said, you’d all quit reading, but since there are a few good things here and there, I’d rather draw your attention, and that of my family, to those. That way, it’s written down for all to see and the crappy things I’ve said are deniable. :o)
Well, I do have to say, in my own defense, I don’t think anyone who lives here would ever say that I insult or intentionally hurt someone’s feelings. I believe much too strongly in the power of words. I might, however, be accused of
nagging reminding people too often of things that need to get done or correcting suggesting better ways to do things.
So, back to the things I’d like for them to remember.
1. You’re responsible for you.
You don’t need to fix anyone else,
worry about what they are up to,
or be concerned about their words.
At the end of the day, between you and God, all that you are responsible for is the way you behaved, treated others, and spoke. Despite what others said or did. No matter how much you think you’re justified in noticing and/or commenting on their behavior.
You’re only responsible for you.
Adults may need this reminder hourly. It would help us remember not to judge, wouldn’t it? I also say that you never know what someone else is going through until you’ve walked in their shoes. I say that from experience after having been judged for decisions I made knowing people could never have understood the road I had traveled.
We base our judgments on how our view has been flavored by our own circumstance. Every single person is doing the same thing. No one sees this world through the same colored glasses.
And, we can’t save anyone. This one is tough. We may think we have every answer, but in the end, no one needs our opinion unless they’ve asked for it. No one needs our answers unless they are ready to hear them. As far as saving goes, isn’t God big enough to draw folks to Him without our interference? His job, and He’s awesome at it, is to prepare hearts to be ready to hear what He has to say. Our job is to be available and listening for a chance to share our story. Not to have the answers and cram them down someone’s throat. Most likely they will be thrown right back into our face.
And, that counts for our spouse (and don’t we just know EVERYTHING they need to fix!), our children, and those out there who just don’t have it all together the way we do (insert sarcasm here).
Love speaks much louder than opinion.
And, frankly, I have enough to do to keep track of myself and my own behavior. I don’t even have time to worry about yours!
I’m just going to live out the love I’ve been shown and let that speak instead of feeling the need to go around sharing my opinion.
Except, of course, this blog which is entirely my opinion, but you choose whether or not you want to see it so that doesn’t count.
2. I can’t hear you when you whine.
Haha! That one is still funny to me. I can distinctly remember when my kids were going through that whiny stage that happens somewhere between the ages of four and seven. They would say something to me 497 times in that horrible voice that only a tired, cranky, somewhat desperate child that age has until I finally learned to say, “I can’t hear you when you whine. When you decide to be calm and talk to me in a normal voice and ask me nicely, I will listen.” Then, I set my jaw, bit my tongue almost off, and ignored them until they could take a deep breath and calm down and present me with something worth my time.
It really worked.
And, it makes me wonder how many times God may be saying, in a much better way than I ever could, “Alison, I just can’t hear you when you whine. If you would change your tone and take a deep breath and remember Who I Am, I would love to listen to you. I love you and what you need matters to me, but the way your presenting it is wearing you, and quite frankly Me out.”
Yes, I know all too well that I can’t wear God out. Thank goodness, or He would have had enough of me a LONG time ago. It was for the sake of the point, and I just made it to myself.
3. Friendship starts here first.
Coming from a family in which no one got along–ever–it was my goal to live in a family in which loving each other was priority number two (right after loving God). I learned quickly in this new family we were creating, that a successful relationship needs time and attention and an awful lot of tenderness.
When priorities fall outside the lines of a family, the family relationships suffer. Period.
When my kids would fight and squabble, I would remind them that their sibling is their best friend for the rest of their life. If we can’t succeed at that then we won’t spend time on friendships outside until we figure it out. Sleep-overs and playdates got cancelled until we learned how to get along at home.
It still holds true, despite the fact that my kids are much more grown. The relationships they have built with each other still feel like a phenomenon to me every time I see how closely intertwined they are. It’s a beautiful thing. They are-well, we all are-very closely knit in this home; and because we made that a priority, relationships have been forged that will stand strong.
I’m amazed at what God has made out of so little.
4. Greedy or grateful?
I thought of this yesterday as I felt sorry for myself about a certain situation in which things didn’t exactly go my way. I may have thrown what we call in this house a “baby fit.” Or, I may not have. I’ll never tell the details, that’s for sure. But, I did have a little talk with myself, and those words came to mind.
When my kids demanded that extra thing, and were very sure they should get their way, I would simply say, “Are you being greedy or grateful?”
That stings, doesn’t it? We want what we want when we want it. We really aren’t very accustomed to waiting, or heaven forbid, being told “No.”
Let me just encourage you with this. Look around you. We are blessed. We don’t go hungry. We are healthy and well-provided for. Complaining at all makes us sound greedy. And, I just wrote all of that for my very own self.
5. People will always let you down.
I know this sounds so negative, but it’s really about expectations. Often, we put expectations on people that aren’t fair to them and they are based on our own need. Then, we get upset because they didn’t meet that expectation, and we hold it against them. I still do it–often. I think it might be human nature. But it really sets us up to fail, and to be let down.
No one could ever possibly live up to someone else’s expectations.
We need to work hard enough just to be authentic; to love the way we love, to behave the way we behave and to let that be good enough. Ultimately, though that means we will let people down. There is really only One true constant in this world. Only One Who never changes and is always enough. It would be wise of us to remember that.
I have some amazing friends and extended family. I’m excited to hear some of your wisdom. Please comment here, and share some of your Momma-isms.