Right Where You’re Supposed To Be

Perhaps,
Just perhaps
You’re right where you’re supposed to be
Not stuck
In the muck
About to give up

Perhaps
It’s divine design
That you are confined
For now
To the space you’re in
My friend

Stop your striving
Fighting
Whining
Listen…
In the quiet
You’ll begin to hear
To see
What you are to be

Life isn’t always
EXTREME Home Makeover
American Idol
You get my drift

Life
Is more like a marathon
Than a sprint
A journey
With peaks and valleys
A wave
That ebbs and flows

Let if flow…

©  KD Corner / K.D.  All rights reserved “Right Where You’re Supposed To Be”

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Listening…A Lost Art

 

How many times has a friend or loved one come to you with a problem, issue or life situation wanting to just vent, and the Dr. Phil in you rises up to “fix” them or their problem and give unwanted advice? Guilty.

I think by nature we want to fix things and put in our “2 cents” so that we can feel like we contributed or brought some relief to our friend in some way. In short, we want to help, but sometimes over-talking or interjecting advice where it’s not necessarily wanted can do more harm than good.  Sometimes a friend really just wants you to LISTEN. Not easy, especially if you have more of a “fixer” personality. But it’s possible to do.

Practice listening. Many times our friends or family members really just want a sounding board. And if they DO want advice or your opinion, they’ll usually come right out and ask you. But, even if they do, tread carefully…unless they tell you to “bring it”, at which point you can let loose and go into your unprofessional diagnosis of their problem.  Still…be careful. Think how you’d want someone to “bring it” to you.  Make sure it’s seasoned with “love”. 🙂

I’ve become fairly good listener. But, I’m continuously working at it. Sometimes people just need your compassion or your presence.  You know how when someone’s talking to you, you’re having a second conversation in your head simultaneously?  All of your unfiltered opinions and reactions are unbridled in this “head” conversation.  RESIST the urge to blab out your opinion. Instead, really listen to the person who’s talking. Try to empathize. When judgemental thoughts arise, push them back down, and just listen. If you’re hearing something that you know is particularly bad or harmful for that person, still just listen. Let them get it all out. Remember to engage the person while they’re talking to you.  Look into their eyes, or give the occasional heart-felt “yeah” or “uh huh” or “really?”  Give a nod of the head and let your facial expression show that you care.  Be genuinely interested.  If talking on the phone, they cannot see your face, but give verbal affirmations that you’re listening to let them know you’re there and engaged in what they’re saying. Nine times out of ten, once the person has vented, they’ll want some kind of input. Begin gently with your input and try to gauge how much feedback the person wants, needs or can handle. Sometimes you’ll know instantaneously how much feedback is desired. Sometimes the person may shut down or block you out if you’re saying something they’re not ready to hear. If that happens, back off. Maybe at a later time the environment will be more conducive for more in-depth conversation.

One last thing.  If you have a friend who can talk to you for hours and hours on end and wear you down to a puddle of mush by the time they’re done talking, protect yourself. Lol.  You want to be there for that friend, but, you also know that if you let them, bless their hearts, they would keep you in the conversation (on the phone or in person) for hours and hours rehashing the same details over and over.  Yet, you care for them and desire to “be there” for them.  Set a time parameter.  Tell them you have “x” number of minutes to talk, up front.  When that time comes around, interject with kindness in your voice and let them know you have to go, but would be available later or perhaps you can talk to them via Instant Messenger or text or on a particular day that YOU specify.  Sometimes “listening” via IM is an option.  It gives the person a chance to write out the problem (which can sometimes help on both ends – the talker’s and the listener’s).  And with writing you have to take a bit more care and be more thoughtful as typed words don’t share the emotion behind them.  Stick to the point.  If your friend’s main gripe is that they have an issue with a coworker, but, they keep wandering into other topics, as you’re listening, keep that main topic in mind.  If/when they ask for your input, OR when your time limit has come and you have to end the conversation, focus on the main issue.  Be warm, yet succinct.  Get right to the root of the issue with your input (with compassion).  Hopefully this will prevent further wandering from the main topic at hand.  And if you’re chatty friend wants to discuss ‘war and peace’, gently yet firmly remind them that you have to go, but suggest that perhaps you’d could further your conversation on the next topic of choice on another occasion.  Hope these hints are helpful.

Have a great day!
Toodles ♥

Weaknesses Aren’t Necessarily Bad

Image

I’m a recovering perfectionist. Not in regards to household chores (haha), but, in other areas. I tend to hate my weaknesses because I feel like it gives grounds for people to poke fun at me.  I remember once in elementary school, I answered incorrectly to a math question posed by the teacher. The class laughed at me. That made me never want to be laughed at again, so I determined to be right most of the time.  I could leave little room for error so there would be minimal chance for embarrassment.  I didn’t like the limelight as it was, but, especially not for embarrassing reasons. 

Needless to say, I was not able to be correct 100% of the time, not even close, but, still it was ingrained into my personality to be as error-free as possible, if at all possible.  Well, with that ‘take’ on life you can become a little bit anal.  The bad thing about perfectionism is when you don’t attain a certain goal or level of perfection, you tend to beat yourself up, call yourself names and all sorts of unhealthy negative self-talk which in turn contributes to negative self-esteem.

Today, I read a devotional that spoke of how God doesn’t love us “in spite” of our weaknesses, but, that he loves us WITH our weaknesses and He can “use” our weaknesses for his glory.  I’ve heard that before, but, today it had special meaning for me.  When you become entrenched in a certain negative way of thinking, you often need to hear healthy messages repeatedly before they actually sink in and can take root & bud into a new and healthy way of thinking.

God is not surprised at my weaknesses. He created me. He knows my good and my bad. My strong points and my weak points. But God can even utilize my weaknesses for good somehow. For instance. I was painfully shy and very quiet growing up. Only in my adulthood did I learn to open up and become more social. But, I would say I’m still a quiet person. I like to people-watch and observe the conversation and behavior of a person.  I learn a lot that way.  How has this been used for good? For one, personally, I’ve avoided potentially harmful relationships from people-watching. Also, I’ve been able to recognize and befriend other shy people and be the person that helps get them out of their shell a little bit.  Being a quiet person, I’ve been the confidant of many a person who knows that I will not go out and blab their personal business to the world at large.  And I’ve been able to share with certain folks how there is an advantage to sometimes being a good listener more so than a talker, on certain occasions.

My perfectionistic tendencies? Well, if properly channeled, it translates to my ability to pay attention to detail which has been very useful in organizational jobs and tasks both personally and professionally.

Your flaws or weaknesses (notice I didnt say sicknesses) can even be used in a positive way. God loves you. He made you. You’re beautiful.

Toodles. ♥

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Persist

When you feel like giving up
Persist
Don’t give up
Don’t give in
Don’t quit

When you feel like lying down
Arise
Lift your hopes
Lift your hands
Lift your eyes

When you feel like breaking down
You can cry
Then wipe your tears
Destroy your fears
& Keep on trying

Sprint, jump, reach, stretch, lunge!
Shatter ceilings, break records, destroy strongholds, expose lies!
Champion love, speak truth, exude joy, be peace, show compassion!
Never give up on the vision God has placed inside of you.
Be the change you want to see in the world.

© 2012 K.D. kdcorner “Persist”
No copying without permission
Quote “Be the change you want to see in the world” (Gandhi)

Little Pleasures

I’ve nothing terribly profound to share today.  But, I wanted to share SOMEthing, ya know?  I have to admit I was feeling kind of “blah”.  So I began to think of the “little pleasures” of my day and my list began to grow.

Little things that made me smile today were:
* My work-bff came back from a 1.5 week vacation & I was so happy to see her! We got to catch up.
* I laughed with another coworker about how NBC really botched the airing of the closing ceremonies of the Olympics by randomly airing one of their new shows right in the middle, instead of airing the closing ceremonies without interruption.
* I came home to one of my kids actually doing the chore I asked them to do. 🙂 yay!
* I got to wear a new skirt to work today & laughed because it’s one of those pencil skirts that only allows you to take very small steps.
* My dog being happy to see me when I got home (just like every day).
* Seeing Facebook being used for good. A friend recently lost his brother unexpectedly and the outpouring of loving messages on Facebook for him was a beautiful thing to behold.
* Having a nice chat with God and being encouraged.
* Reconnecting with a friend that I thought fell off the face of the planet. Lol.
* Being able to buy something I really liked for lunch today.
* Hugging my youngest child (the one who still likes giving hugs). Priceless.

Have a great day!
Toodles. ♥

Jesus, Friend of Sinners

There’s a song called “Jesus, Friend of Sinners” by a group called Casting Crowns. I really love this song because it calls the “Church” to the carpet. We, in our organized religion have sometimes – not always – but often enough to notice, gone about sharing our faith and beliefs in Christ in a way that does more harm than good. We’ve been judgemental, critical, mean, snobbish and self-righteous. Yet, would you believe that many people are really well-intentioned? Yes, it’s true. They just go about sharing their passion for their Christian faith in not-the-best way. I’ve been there, too. I’ve acted those ways. I’m not proud of it. But, when the “light bulb” went on, I was so happy.

You see, God, He’s really amazing. He doesn’t leave us like we are. If we are in relationship with him, He brings certain things to light in our lives that need changed, tweaked, adjusted or even added-to or cut-out of our lives, and He helps us with those things. He’s awesome.

All of this doesn’t mean that if you’re a Christian, you can’t be passionate about what you believe. On the contrary. Your heart can be full of vim and verve for sharing the message/gospel of Christ. Most definitely. But, when we share with others, I think we must always remember how Christ found us…what state we were in. And if we were resistant to the message of the gospel…what was it that reached through our shields and walls and connected with us?

I personally wasn’t resistant to the message of Christ. However, I was struggling with some things personally. And what touched me the most, was a couple of friends who consistently reached out to me. They were my friends and stuck by me through thick and thin. They listened to me without judging me and they shared the message of the Bible with me in a gentle and loving way, over a period of months and years. They never watered down God’s truth, but, always shared it with me in a loving manner and through a friendship. That was how they exemplified Christ’s love to me. It was through their example that I was able to see that even if I was struggling with some things that I knew were wrong or unhealthy, Christ loved/loves me and sticks with me through it all, and helps me eventually overcome whatever it is, if I let him.

If we look at Christ’s dealings with people who were ‘unbelievers’ (this does not include the religious leaders of the day, nor folks that were already following Christ), we see that He was kind, compassionate, caring, gentle, loving, patient. He still shared truth without compromising, but the WAY he did it was key. He did it with love and compassion.

I think that we, as Christians, on the whole, are learning to share Christ’s truth & love in a more loving way. We can choose to love people and befriend people and dialogue with people whose beliefs are different from ours without judging or condemning them. We can share the gospel message of Christ with people, just like my friends shared it with me so many years ago…through friendship and in a loving manner. And if/when we disagree with people or vice versa, it’s okay. One of my former pastors always used to say “Agree to disagree agreeably”. But, at least talk. At least share. It’s not our responsibility as Christians to MAKE people believe. But Jesus said “Go! And tell the world…” So it’s our duty to share the news/message of Christ and let GOD through his Holy Spirit, do the work of working in people’s hearts and minds. What will be, will be. Sometimes you’ll share the news once. Sometimes you’ll share the news over a period of days, months or years. But just share in love. God can surely handle the rest.

I’m Still Here… and A Blanket

Hi WordPress Family & KD Corner Family!  I’m still here!  Yes, I’m really still here – I haven’t dropped off of the face of the earth, I promise. I’ve just been busy with life and family and work and haven’t been online as much. 

To expand on the title of this particular blog post – “I’m Still Here”  in life.  Even with all of life’s challenges you & I are STILL here.  We’re still plugging away.  Still creating, thinking, dreaming.  We’re still here for a reason.  To give to others.  My gift to you (I hope) is the encouragement, or renewed hope, or the openness to the idea that there indeed is a God who loves you.

Now, I’m sure you’re curious what “A Blanket” has to do with my post today.  Well, let me tell you a quick story.  Years ago, I was going through a particularly tough time and I had to move from one state to another.  It was a very trying time in my life.  Long story short, I had to take a train ride to my destination.  I didn’t know exactly what the future held and had just left a situation that was very unstable.  My world was shaken, as was my faith in mankind.  On the train, I made sure those traveling with me were taken care of, then I tried to get comfortable.  It was cold on the train.  I was freezing but didn’t have enough money to buy a blanket,  so I curled myself up as much as possible and was determined to get some rest.  When I woke up, I was covered in a warm blanket – a child’s blanket.  I was disoriented for a moment and  then thankful.  I began to look around to see if I could figure out who had done this for me.  I caught the eye of a young woman who was traveling with her sister and 2 children.  I had seen her when I boarded the train but I was concerned with myself and my traveling companions.  She nodded at me and I nodded back at her and said “thank you”.  Seeing that she’d given me one of her children’s blankets, I went over and tried to return the blanket to her.  But she said “no” and motioned with her hands, insisting that I keep it.  I don’t think she spoke English, but, I understood her perfectly.  I was so touched.  Tears welled up in my eyes, and I said thank you repeatedly as I returned to my seat.  She smiled and nodded and went back to her conversation with her sister.

As I settled myself back in my seat, and covered myself with my new cozy blanket decorated with a cute children’s design, I whispered “God, thank you,” as tears streamed down my face.  He showed his love, care and kindness to me through a stranger on a train.  It meant so much to me because she took from her own family’s belongings to share with me.  She had compassion on me, though she didn’t know me.  That gesture of love spoke to me in a HUGE way.  In the midst of my deep pain at the time, God reached in through a woman on a train to show me that goodness still exists in people, and reminded me that He (God) definitely was with me at that time (and always), and that His love is always watching over me.

Be blessed today!

Toodles 🙂 ♥

Image: FreeDigitalPhotos.net