Humility, Relationship, Series, When There Are Words

Words: After We Make Poor Choices

 

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

This is part three of a five week series on the power of words. We have all been impacted by the words of another. Some words have imbued us with confidence, while others have deflated us. We are created to be communicators. So, when there are words, how do we use them well? 

Let’s explore this over the next few weeks. I hope you’ll join me and add your thoughts to the conversation! If you want to read previous posts, click: When There Are Words.

 

It all began with a phone call.

As soon as the school’s number showed on my Caller ID, I knew my day was about to change. I just had no idea how drastically.

When the words, “Kicked in the head a couple times.” “Dizzy” and “Blurry vision” came into the conversation, my mama’s heart began to worry for this son of mine.

After hearing the details and asking some questions, I decided that, yes, the boy needed to come home to rest and be watched.

 

When I neared the school, I made a couple of decisions that . . . weren’t the wisest. And I quickly gained the eye of a police officer. I had misread a situation.

And she misread me.

I wanted to be angry. Only I knew she had a difficult job.

I wanted to defend myself, only I knew that nothing could change the choices I’d made.

And though I knew my choices were for the sake of my boy, she saw a different picture. Because she had information I wasn’t privy to.

She made judgments, and I clamped my mouth shut. Because every now and then, silence truly is the best answer.

Sometimes a humble apology is the better way.

After she explained what I’d done wrong and what she thought she saw in my actions, I said I was sorry. And I was.

There are times when we get things wrong. We make decisions that seem right, but for some reason, they aren’t. We make choices because they are for another person’s good. But the way we go about fulfilling them violates something.

 

When we’ve messed up and the stakes are high, we need to be quiet. Sometimes, there are no words that can make things right. And there are especially no words that can make our choice—as noble as it may be—look shiny and good.

We need to acknowledge this.

Sometimes humility is a difficult choice because our emotions get wrapped up in the circumstances.

One thing I learned through this experience is that I mustn’t allow my emotions to dictate a situation.

I know this when I’m dealing with an officer of the law. And I (for the most part) have the self-control to keep my mouth shut.

But what about with those who are close to me? Those who don’t have the authority to issue a ticket for words spoken?

 

There will be times when I blow it with my husband, my kids, my friends. I’m going to make decisions that, in the moment, seem right, justifiable. But the big picture ramifications are broader than I can see.

When someone nicely—or not—points this out to me, what will my reaction be?

Am I going to defend myself? Try to make them understand why I chose the way I did?

Or, am I going to receive the rebuke, the correction?

Honestly? I’m not good at receiving correction in the moment. I need time to process it, ponder it, pray over it.

And sometimes, even then, I may not agree with it. The way I respond to a person can make or ruin a relationship.

 

With my family and friends, I want to choose love. It’s okay to disagree with another. How we do it will determine a number of things.

How safe we are to those people.

Our response tells the other person a lot. And they will make decisions about future interactions with us based on how we receive and respond to rebuke.

When we are teachable—humble—relationships are strengthened because the other person sees depth in us.

When we defend ourselves, we tell that person we’re placing ourselves—our importance—above them.

 

Choosing humility is hard. But, this is also a response that is pleasing in our Father’s sight.

Do we want to be right . . . or right with God?

What about you? When have you chosen humility in a situation? How do you handle valid rebukes?

Click to Tweet: When we’re humble, relationships are strengthened

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Marriage, Relationship, Valentine's Day

Love: 14 Ways to Keep Your Love Strong

couple-sunset-beach-walk

+Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

From the time I became aware of what Valentine’s Day represented, I struggled with it. Who could struggle with true love, right?

Except, I wasn’t one of the girls who received Candy-grams in junior high. I wasn’t one of the girls who ever—ever—had a date to the Valentine’s dance. In my mind, I wasn’t pretty enough, or popular enough, or anything enough.

Continue reading “Love: 14 Ways to Keep Your Love Strong”

Guest Posts, Jill Kemerer, Life Lessons, Relationship

Life Lesson: Making an Effort—Guest Post by Jill Kemerer and a Giveaway!

J Kemerer Making an effort quote

I first met Jill Kemerer over at the Books and Such blog. When I was ready to brave beginning my own blog, Jill stepped up to answer my every last question (with much patience, I might add!). We’ve since met in person, and she has become a special friend. I’m so excited to host her here today for the final installment in my series about Life Lessons. (You can read parts one, two, three, and four here). Read to the end and learn about her latest book and a giveaway.

Please welcome Jill!

~~~~~

What life lesson has changed you the most?

When Jeanne posed this question to me, I had no idea it would be so hard to answer. Unfortunately, I’ve learned a lot of life lessons! I am NOT perfect.

But looking back, I think the one thing I learned that changed me the most was to make an effort with strangers and acquaintances. I’ve always been introverted yet oddly social. As a kid, I loved making my friends and family laugh, but I felt awkward around people I didn’t know.

For some reason, I always had this feeling that I didn’t have anything to offer, like why would they want to talk to me? Silly, huh!

My dog’s nose peeking out from the blanket reminds me of how I used to feel. Introverts often don’t enjoy crowds.
My dog’s nose peeking out from the blanket reminds me of how I used to feel. Introverts often don’t enjoy crowds.

As I entered my teen years, I made friends naturally, but I heard the following a few times, “When I first met you I thought you were stuck up, but you’re not like that at all.”

My first reaction? Gee, thanks. But I took their words to heart. I realized I had a different view of myself than others did. By allowing shyness to prevent me from making an effort, I was unknowingly giving the impression I was arrogant.

This is my husband and I on a recent vacation. A smile conveys so much. If I’m too tired or drained to speak to someone, I at least smile!
This is my husband and I on a recent vacation. A smile conveys so much. If I’m too tired or drained to speak to someone, I at least smile!

I began talking to people I would have been too intimidated to speak to previously. I’m not going to lie. It felt uncomfortable. Sometimes they weren’t friendly. Other times they were wonderful. But I realized how they reacted wasn’t the point. If someone didn’t like me, no big deal. At least I tried.

I’m glad I learned that lesson early, because my entire adult life has involved relocating every few years. Starting over in a strange town would have been much more isolating and difficult if I had never learned this lesson. When my kids were young, I joined playgroups. Often there were clusters of other moms who knew each other from way back when. I forced myself to talk to them. Sometimes it took three or four different tries before they were receptive. In other towns, I was blessed to connect with a kind soul right away.

I also learned not to jump to conclusions about people. If I’m at one of my kids’ practices and a mom I don’t know is sitting off by herself, I don’t assume she’s stuck up or antisocial. It might mean she’s uncomfortable or lonely. It could mean she had a bad day or had a bad experience with some of the parents. Maybe she’s nervous about her kid’s performance. Who knows? It’s none of my business. What is my business is to introduce myself and make her feel welcome.

Now when I’m at a writer’s conference or a dinner with strangers, I do my best to be friendly and welcoming to anyone I meet. And you know what? I think this was the real me all along. It feels good to brighten someone’s day. So many people feel lonely at big events. I’m glad God is using me to encourage others.

Thank you so much, Jeanne, for hosting me today.

Have you ever felt shy and self-conscious around strangers? If so, how do you work through this?

Jill’s newest book is releasing TODAY! She’s hosting a giveaway that begins at 6:00 a.m. on August 31st and ends at 9:00 p.m. September 5th. This contest is open to US residents.Read about her book and enter by pressing on “Entry Form” below to earn entries.  

Unexpected Family SmallUNEXPECTED FAMILY

His Surprise Daughter

After five years apart, Tom Sheffield is shocked to find his ex-wife, Stephanie, on his doorstep. The news that they share a child he’s never met sends him reeling. Four-year-old Macy has his eyes, his mouth and, from their first encounter, his heart. Things with her mother are much more complicated. He doesn’t understand what went wrong between them or why she kept their daughter a secret. And he’s afraid of falling in love all over again. Yet he feels a glimmer of hope that somehow he can convince Macy and Stephanie to stay in Lake Endwell—and with him—for keeps.

Unexpected Family purchase links: http://jillkemerer.com/books/unexpected-family/

~~~~~

About Jill

Jill-Kemerer-Blue-300dpiJill Kemerer writes contemporary romance novels with love, humor and faith. A full time writer, she relies on coffee and chocolate to keep up with her kids’ busy schedules. Besides spoiling her mini-dachshund, Jill adores magazines, M&Ms, fluffy animals and long nature walks. She resides in Ohio with her husband and two children. Jill loves connecting with readers, so please visit her website, jillkemerer.com.

You can also connect with Jill on Facebook and Twitter.

Priorities, Relationship, Uncategorized

Good Enough: When Good Enough Isn’t

Sun lightened leaves

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

(This is part one of a three part series. I look forward to hearing your thoughts!)

One of the messages on my heart is never settling for good enough. I was single-longing-to-be-married for what felt like going on forever. I watched friends get married. I was invited to eleven—yes, eleven—weddings in one year, and I was a bridesmaid in three of them.

Continue reading “Good Enough: When Good Enough Isn’t”

Forgiveness, God, Love, Mothering, Relationship

Love: Undeserved Love

Low Storm Clouds

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

His storm rolled in on the heels of a decision I made that he didn’t like. These storms he goes through always lead to dark places for this boy. First, he got mouthy. After ignoring a warning to take a step away from the situation, he went in for the attack, his words aiming to wound.

Continue reading “Love: Undeserved Love”

God, Grace, Mothering

Grace: When People Forget

Butterfly on flowers

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Of all the times for the boy to forget to do his asthma-managing breathing treatment  . . .  it was on a day when we were already thirty minutes down the road to an adventure.

On vacation, he’d already neglected to check his inhaler and make sure it still had medicine in it. I had no idea how many days he’d puffed on empty . . . which led to a prolonged asthma flare-up, lots of coughing, and purple-rimmed eyes.

Continue reading “Grace: When People Forget”

Mothering, Relationship

Heart: 4 Tips For Guiding Our Kids’ Hearts

Rock in waves

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

We are in a battle.

Our boys are growing older—both in their pre-teen years. Hubby’s and my role as their main influencers is closing. They say children’s characters are mostly formed by the time they are twelve. Twelve! Our oldest is there.

Continue reading “Heart: 4 Tips For Guiding Our Kids’ Hearts”

Love Languages, Marriage, Mothering, Relationship

Marriage: 6 Tips For Staying Connected

Ski Slope in morning

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

I sat beside my hubby thirty feet above the ground, a blanket of snow glittering beneath us. As the chairlift moved us upward, I glanced over at the man I’ve shared the last twenty years of my life with. I know him, I love him, but we don’t always have time to connect. When I looked at him, I was convicted by the thought that we hadn’t connected on a soul-level all week.

Yes, there were good reasons, including a three day business trip. But are they good reasons…..really?

Continue reading “Marriage: 6 Tips For Staying Connected”

Dependence, Enough, Fear, Pride, Relationship

Weakness: Act Strong or Ask For Help?

Destin late afternoon

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

“Why is weakness something we fear so strongly?”

I was reading Kara Tippetts’ blog, Mundane Faithfulness last week, and she shared about those days you just work to get through. At the end of her post, she asked some questions, but this one stopped me hard.

Continue reading “Weakness: Act Strong or Ask For Help?”

God, Perspective, Relationship, Trials

Pride: 4 Tips for Maintaining an Accurate Perspective

Peacock strutting

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

Have you ever read something in the Bible many times, and this time when you read it, a certain truth smacks you in the face?

I was reading about King Hezekiah in Second Chronicles recently. I noticed a truth that I’d never considered before. When he was under attack from Sennacherib, the dominating king of Assyria, Hezekiah’s relationship with God was solid. He prepared his people, and his city. In humility, he leaned hard on God. He prayed and trusted that God would deliver them.

Continue reading “Pride: 4 Tips for Maintaining an Accurate Perspective”