Armoured Up

Archive for the tag “relationships”

Peace, Perfect Peace

peaceIt must be maturity…yeah, that’s what it is! The willingness to lay down your sword, give up your right to be heard…for your side to be known.

Deliverance….what a beautiful thing and you don’t fully realize its power until you are resting in it, feet firmly planted in it, soul at ease and free.

Being raised in a full house and being one of the youngest, I clamored for attention, fought for my right to be heard, was overdramatic and was super hurt when I was misunderstood. I carried that behavior with me through the years and was stung quite a bit as I was forced to take tests over and over (those stinky life tests, I mean). Ever wonder why you have to take tests over and over? It took me a minute to figure out that once I passed them, they passed, with the exception of an occasional refresher course followed by a quiz or two…or three!

My mind wandered this morning to the friend that got away.  Thank God for “friends” that get away…go away, move away, force a “walk-away.”  As I recalled the “situation” I marveled at how curiosity never got the best of me to reopen doors that should remain closed; I was astonished that I never felt the need to “tell my side” to those with whom my “friend” no doubt excoriated me.

Here’s the thing and it’s a big thing that I have pounded into my kiddies. Your reputation is all you have and it should be protected to the point that when other people hear stories and you are a principal character,  those who hear should know you well enough to know there must be more to the story. Those who hear and lean in and shake their heads and form opinions…well, they just don’t know you. There is no value in expending precious time and energy setting records straight when He who knows you best can set the record straight if He chooses to do so.

How am I benefitting? Peace, perfect peace – for some friends give, then take, then give some more, while others just take, then take, then take some more.

And so today I pray for those who are still learning lessons, being hurt and seeking peace.  That you would allow Him who loves you most, knows you best and has great plans for you, to heal, protect, sustain and strengthen you without you having to say a word.

“You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind, both its inclination and its character, is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You. So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock the Rock of Ages.” Isaiah 26:3-4 AMP

 

Toxic People

“My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects.” Proverbs 3:11-12a

I get a kick out of it when the Lord corrects me. Once the rebuke has passed and I’m licking my wounds, I even manage to chuckle at how small I am compared to His greatness…and how bold I can be to think that I can get away with anything when He’s always present and ever checking me!!

I made a decision to distance myself from a situation and today one of the parties reached out to me and after our communication I remained steadfast in my decision. I found myself praying for the situation and those involved and then I began interceding for others and finally for myself, praying that I had heard from Him and was not making emotional decisions. I felt peace and then it was time for me to shower. I again thought of the situation and the word “toxic” came up. I thought of the many times I had heard that term as it relates to people and how wise it was to remove toxic people from one’s life. “Yeah, that’s exactly what I’m dealing with here…toxic people,” I said to myself. I had one foot in the shower when I know it was Him who spoke and how dare I open my mouth and say out loud what He was speaking to my heart. Here’s what I heard come from my mouth…the nerve of me: “If toxic people bring out the toxicity in you wouldn’t that make you toxic too? Don’t you all have work to do?” Thanks Lord…and you’re a poet too? Apparently…He is that. What came next was the realization that perhaps toxic people or difficult situations are allowed in our lives for us to determine how far along we are in our maturing process. They are sent for us to determine just how “there” we are. It would seem that I am not quite there.

I laughed out loud at myself as I envisioned me looking out and wondering why my vision was impaired…oh yeah, it’s that tree that’s imbedded in my eye…getting in the way of my being able to clearly see the speck in yours. Now does this mean, that I’ll reverse my decision to distance myself from that situation I mentioned earlier? I don’t think so, because I know that I know that it’s not a good one for me. I also know that today’s revelation has brought me right back down to my knees and I’m finding myself at His feet where I’m safest, where I’m quiet, where I’m home.

Here’s the last thing I heard as I was rinsing the conditioner from my hair…”Your reaction to a situation paints a picture of the condition of your heart.” Ouch, Hallelujah! — Back to the lab I go!!

Mean Girls

As a mom of a 12 year old, I have been talking to my daughter, Mariah, about relationships since she began playing in the sand box. We have always discussed the importance of female relationships…how to maintain them; the importance of trust, loyalty, honesty; how not to be what I call “some-timey.” You know, sometimes I like you, sometimes I don’t (and then I blame it on hormones or “that time of the month”)!! Eeeek!!! I’ve been blessed with a tender, teachable daughter who appears to be loyal and loving; who is kind (not nice). I’m thinking kind is better, since nice seems to be what you do and being kind describes who you are. We have painstakingly discussed the topic of “mean girls.”

Anyway, imagine my horror when I received a phone call from my daughter’s teacher giving me a heads up regarding a “texting war” that was brewing among some besties and my daughter was at the center of it. My face got hot and I experienced a skin tingle (or was that my first hot flash), and I gripped the phone tightly as he described an exchange between my daughter and her former bestie from long ago, (who I will call Miss Text).

Back story…Miss Text moved on from my girl to “Susie” and they had become chums. Well now Susie and my daughter were snuggled up leaving Miss Text out of the picture and apparently Susie shared an angst filled letter from Miss Text with my daughter. My daughter had made several attempts to include Miss Text in their “buddy fest” but to no avail. Miss Text wanted my daughter out of the picture and was very adamant about it, so imagine the joy my daughter felt when Susie chose her.

As my girl’s teacher described the exchange between my daughter and Miss Text, I was surprised, saddened and getting a little hot at what I was hearing. My girl was the aggressor in the exchanges and Miss Text was taking the high road in her responses…very mature, very peaceful. So much so, that it almost sounded like she was being coached. (I know, slap my wrist!!)

During our conversation, many things occurred to me…why had Susie shared that letter…I thought of the many stories I could have shared with Mr. Teacher which I chose to suppress. I could have shared my impressions based on what I knew of the friendship between my daughter and Miss Text (they were besties a long time ago). I had witnessed the drama back in 1st through 3rd grade when Miss Text tried to control my daughter. In the end, I was not concerned with justifying my daughter’s behavior. We all have reasons for our poor behavior…I was concerned that my daughter was being a mean girl…that girl who would stomp on someone’s feelings, be competitive, prideful, exclusive…everything I was not and had for years been discussing with her.

I picked up my daughter from school and on the way home I asked her about the situation and she burst into tears. She confessed and acknowledged her part in the drama. She said she was sorry, embarrassed and lacked courage to apologize to Miss Text even though she had many opportunities to do so that day.

Well, that night after more conversation, counseling and correction, she retreated to her room where she spent the evening. Close to bedtime I went in to check on her and found her writing a letter. Here’s what she wrote:

“Dear Mrs. ____ and Miss Text,
First of all, I want to say sorry for disrespecting you and your daughter, Mrs. ____. My comments were just inappropriate and immature. I’m disappointed, humiliated, and surprised at myself for doing what I did. Words don’t even explain how sorry I am. It wasn’t even any of my business to be involved with your daughter’s note to “Susie.” It was a private note, and I wish I had never read it. What I really want is for you and “Susie” to become best friends again. I know I was, am, and always will be a nice girl. I really hope Miss Text, that you will accept this note and we could be friends again like old times in first grade. I don’t think it’s good for you guys not being friends. I’ll also keep my distance so you and “Susie” can catch up and rebuild the friendship. In Colossians 3:13 it says “Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievance you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” I hope that what I did didn’t hurt my reputation of how you now know me. I also highly respect how even though I was being mean to you, you kept your cool and stayed calm. I promise you that this won’t happen again. If you would give me one more chance, I would love to be your friend and let you meet the real Mariah. Again Mrs. ___, I’m really sorry for hurting your daughter.

God Bless All of You xoxo
Mariah Britt”

Mariah has kept her word. Was there reconciliation? Yes. Is it a buddy fest? No. Interestingly, Miss Text moved on (although she and Susie are still friends) and Susie and Mariah are closer than ever. I was blessed to see all of Mariah’s yearbook inscriptions…how all of her friends love her, regard her as someone they can trust; how they appreciate her. Yes, Mariah, your reputation is in tact!!

Footnote: I ran into Miss Text and her mom at a school function. Her mom thanked me for helping Mariah write the letter. I explained that I had no part in that. The letter came from Mariah’s heart. She replied, “I don’t believe that, but that’s okay.” Ouch, that was mean, girl!

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32

Think About It (The power of words)

My honey asked me to do him a favor and type out the lyrics to the songs for his new cd. As I was doing that, I got stuck on the fourth song…”Think About It.” The memories once again flooded me as I revisited what I know without a doubt the Lord had given me on that day.

Johnny wanted me to write a love song. He parked the car at the beach (for inspiration, I guess) and cued the track as he and the kids got out of the car to go play while I wrote. I was not in a “love song” kinda mood. I wrote this song from Johnny’s standpoint about me/us/our relationship at the time. It was on the rocks and I was on the verge of checking out emotionally (and had the Lord not intervened, a physical disconnection would have surely followed). Johnny was hanging on and trying to keep it together. I know the song is special, because I recall my state of mind as I put pen to paper, and how I could have written it, and why, was indeed a mystery that unfolded only after the last line had been written. After it was written, I read it, then realized how much that man loved me/us/our family and how vital our union was. He never had to say a word…

We must talk about it…what’s your take on love
We shouldn’t have to do without it baby
Tell me whatcha thinkin’ of
We shouldn’t have to fake it…no
Nothing more is true
Coz since we’ve been together
There ain’t nothing we can’t do
And all I ever do is think about you
No one else will do
I love you
All I think about is what you mean to me…oh yeah
We must think about it
The writing’s on the wall
What should have been forever
Is not lasting at all
And all I ever do is think about you
Everything we have shouldn’t drift away
All I think about is what you mean to me…oh yeah
I could never live without your love
I can’t exist without your love
Don’t wanna be without your love
I know that I can’t make it without you
My love for you is real
A love so strong I can’t reveal
The depth of feelings that I feel
I want you now…I need you now
The only thing that matters is..
That we give our all, you see
We are only human, and
It’s okay to fall, but what we gonna do about it baby
We are all we have
Let’s keep our love together
A chance to make it last
A chance to make it last, babe

I thank God for the gift of song, words, family, love and Him.

(“Think About It” from the ‘Feels So Good’ CD due out this summer
Artist:  My honey:) Johnny Britt)

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