Five Minute Friday scribblings, Perspective

Reflect: What Do I Reflect?

Window reflection

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Our Five Minute Friday prompt this week is—REFLECT. This largely unedited “rough draft” form of writing stretches this perfectionist, in the best of ways. I write for five minutes on a given topic. If you’re interested in learning more about 5-Minute Fridays, check out our hostess, Kate Motaung’s site. Or, click on the link at the bottom of this post. As you read my simpler Friday posts, I hope you’ll join in the conversation!

REFLECT

I’d just gotten done snipping at one of the boys for not letting me get to “my” much needed “Me” time. I’m sure I hurt his feelings, at least a little bit. As I closed the door to my room and tried to lose myself in an online chat, the word REFLECT came up.

Oh boy.

What am I reflecting to those around me? When life gets crazy, the waters of my spirit get muddied.

And my heart gets selfish.

And my words and actions reflect the ugliest parts of me.

Is that what I want my boys to remember when they move out of our house one day and begin lives of their own?

When I am impatient with a person on the phone or a cashier in the store (which I try not to be, but those muddy waters sometimes encourage it), what am I reflecting?

My heart’s desire is to reflect Jesus’ light to those around me. I don’t want them to see my sinfulness, my selfishness.

Interrupted Reflection

Let’s face it, sometimes we’re all a mess. We’re working out our salvation one painful day at a time. We’re making mistakes.

Sometimes Jesus’ love is a dim reflection in the shadow of my “me-ness.” My selfishness.

Sometimes I don’t reflect Jesus accurately at all, rather a choppy image of His presence within me.

My desire is to reflect His joy, His love, His kindness to those around me.

Whether I feel like it or not.

To choose kindness when life is hard, when the kids are testy, when the hubby is traveling.

To reflect love when someone hurts me, or life gets too busy, or I am feeling like a failure.

Blue Mesa Reflections

When I am seeking Jesus—when I’m refreshed by Him—then the waters of my heart are clear and reflect Him well.

And those boys of mine? As soon as I asked forgiveness for my sharp tones, arms wrapped around my neck. Thank goodness they will overlook my selfishness.

What about you? What helps you reflect Jesus to those around you? What are you reflecting on as 2015 comes to a close?

Join in with Kate Motaung’s Five Minute Friday post—REFLECT

 

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28 thoughts on “Reflect: What Do I Reflect?”

  1. Jeanne!
    Oh my twin! How many of us were looking in the mirror tonight? 🙂 I agree with everything!
    “My desire is to reflect His joy, His love, His kindness to those around me.
    Whether I feel like it or not.”
    Yes!!!
    Love,
    Tammy
    (#7 tonight, right behind you on FMF)

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    1. Yeah, that mirror. It reflects so much back at us, sometimes, doesn’t it? May we both be an accurate reflection of Jesus to the world around us, and especially to those closest to us. 🙂 So glad we’re neighbors this weekend. 🙂

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  2. This was a convicting post, Jeanne! Grateful for your words and your challenge. I had a similar scene in my home this evening. May God help us to reflect His character! Blessings to you this holiday season!

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    1. Kate, I’m glad I wasn’t alone in that scene in the house. It’s wonderful that our kids want us, our attention, but it’s hard sometimes too, isn’t it? I agree with your thought. May we both reflect His character to our families and those around us. May your holiday season be filled with His joy!

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  3. Y’know, Jeanne…I have the suspicion that jesus was kind of hard to live with too, sometimes. Ask the people he chased around with a whip.

    Seriously…we all fall short of the ‘ideal’ of Jesus, but we do forget that he had to engage with a very flawed world, and He was certainly no shrinking violet. I’m sure that others found him a bit harsh, or a bit abrupt, or…well, whatever. (“Uh, oh, guys…he’s picking up a WHIP..!”)

    I figure it’s kind of like painting – an artist uses pigments to try to catch a Reality created by God. It can only ever be an imperfect image, but what’s vital is the desire to try.

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    1. Andrew, I love your perspective. I can’t imagine living with perfection incarnate. 🙂 You’re so right. We do all fall short of living the way He lived, and the way He asks us to live. That’s what makes me so thankful for grace.

      You’re right. We are an imperfect image of God’s original design, but we can try to become more like Jesus as we grow with Him. Great thoughts today. Thank you so much for sharing them.

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  4. The more willing I am to ask for forgiveness when I blow it and get all tarnished, the easier it becomes to ask forgiveness the next time. I, too, desire to reflect Jesus’ love and grace.

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    1. I agree, Anita. Asking for forgiveness is an essential aspect of reflecting Jesus. We’re going to blow it (as we both wrote about!), but when we ask forgiveness, our humility can reflect Jesus in us to those around us. Love your thoughts here. 🙂

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  5. So Important for us to reflect Gods love and forgiveness. I think we all gave snapped at someone and shown the not pretty parts of ourselves. Yet God wants us to reflect his light and love to each other. I’m over in the #11 spot this week.

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    1. True, true, Tara. I’m so glad we don’t have to reflect Jesus in our own strength! I’m thankful He enables us to reflect Him to the world. Of course, it helps a lot when we are spending time with Him so He can better work through us, eh? Have a great weekend, my friend.

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  6. Isn’t it just like God to use something like FMF to convict us? Can I hate that and love it at the same time? I love that our children so easily forgive; I wish I could as quickly as they do!

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    1. Oh, Christy. You’re so right. God has a way of dealing with my heart before I seek to write about Him. Sigh. I know that’s a good thing, though. I don’t want to write a double-standard, much less live one! 🙂 I agree, our children’s willingness to forgive so quickly has humbled me more times than I can count. May we both grow in that trait. Have a great weekend, my friend!

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  7. For me, I’m reflecting on all that was accomplished in 2015. What could I have changed but more importantly how have I changed? What can I do differently in 2016 and what do I want my life better to reflect? It’s all good stuff and I use this whole month to do that reflecting and moving forward. It’s a good thing!
    Happy Friday to you!

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    1. I like that, Rachel. It’s so easy to reflect on the events of the year, and not the changes God’s working within us. And, I like your proactive viewpoint. What can I do differently next year to better reflect Him? GREAT question.

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  8. Jeanne, your picture was perfect for the prompt! What I love about kids is that they’re so quick to forgive those minor mom short comings. I want to reflect Jesus too, To my family, to those in line with me at the store. Just like you said!

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    1. Betsy, I’m so glad our hearts are aligned on this idea of reflecting Him to all those around me . . . those who cross my path, but especially those who know me best. 🙂 May we both be a clear reflection of Jesus during this season.

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  9. great post jeanne:) i saw myself in it, particularly in the sniping story. sometimes in the apology part, but not as often as i wish. it’s true. the more we apologize, the easier it gets:)

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    1. Martha, good words. The more we apologize, the easier it gets. I’ve said it before, but I’m so thankful for God’s patience and His grace that prompt and enable me to walk this out. 🙂 And hopefully, my children will see and learn from my mistakes. 🙂

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  10. I promise you, more than you ever losing your cool – they will remember your asking for forgiveness and apologizing! And yes – we all have done that and will – regrettably – do it again… thank goodness for Grace for us all, right?

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    1. That’s my belief too, Karrilee. When I set the example of humility, one day (hopefully sooner rather than later! 🙂 ), my boys will have that to guide them in their relationships. I can’t imagine living out life, as a mom, a wife, a person in this world, without God’s grace!

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  11. There is so much I can relate to here, Jeanne, especially this: “Sometimes I don’t reflect Jesus accurately at all, rather a choppy image of His presence within me.” We yearn to be shining lights for Christ when we’re often no more than faltering candlewicks. But oh how He gently nurtures that tiny spark of life within! It seems harder to be salt and light when we’re with our loved ones because we truly let our guard down in their presence. Yet their love and forgiveness can often ignite our own. Great post! Thank you.

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    1. Joy, what a great picture . . . faltering candlewicks. Yes, that’s how I feel/live some days. You’re right, we do let our guard down with the ones we’re closest to. I try to always speak with respect, but I struggle much more with my boys than with anyone else. Sigh. And, there is something special about knowing my kids genuinely forgive me when I fall short. Thank you so much for stopping by! Have a great weekend.

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  12. While driving into downtown Chicago this morning during heavy expressway rush hour traffic I didn’t have what you would call a “Jesus moment” It was still dark and the pouring rain caused the headlights to glare making it almost imposible to see. I passed three accidents yet people still insisted on driving as fast and crazy as they possibly could. It was chaotic to say the least and I lost my temper more than once. It all left me with a very bad attitude that lingered for the rest of the day. Sometimes its just hard to reflect a Christ-like example…but when we fail at kindness and love, we run right smack into the opportunity to reflect humility. I’ll be better tomorrow…

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    1. Gene, I loved this story, because it reflects my own fleshiness when I drive. I never swear as I usually have kids in the car, but I definitely voice my frustration. It’s such a reflection on the work God still has to do in me. I’ve had those mornings when people drive in ways that make me crazy (usually because they’re not safe), and it takes time for my emotion to dissipate from my attitude.

      I’m so thankful that, even when I fall short in reflecting Jesus, He fills in my gaps. He forgives my shortcomings, and He gives me the opportunity to do better next time (because, especially when it comes to driving, there WILL be a next time).

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