We all have a cold. I sort of know how it started. Ellie has had a cough for a while. Not sure if the cough started as a cold but a few weeks ago (around May 1st) my sister, Judy and Ellie (age 2) went to visit my other sister, Jenny and her kids, Devri and Sam. While they were visiting, Ellie had a fever. A few days later when Judy came back to town with Jenny and her kids in tow, Sam ran a fever and started coughing and Devri had a runny nose (in her defense, that could have been teeth related). By the time Jenny and John left, our boy was coughing and experiencing a runny nose and now we (me and the Hubs) have it. And the Hubs is pitiful…seriously, he’s asking for Theraflu (which I’m not sure I can take…it used to have aspirin in it which I am extremely allergic to). I am tired of us being “sick” even though, it’s just a cold and it will pass. (That’s what the doctor said).
Let’s face it, families tend to pass things along to each other. We do this with other traits as well. Think about it.
Here’s a fun story (I think I’ve blogged about this before but here goes). My Mam-maw, had sinus issues; she called it “hay fever” (she was a farm girl who moved to the big city – Austin). She almost always carried a hanky and she was always shoving one corner of it up her nose. She really needed a Nedi-pot. I seemed to have allergies from birth. As a child I took allergy shots and had a limited diet…my favorite thing in the world was peanut butter but I wasn’t allowed to eat it (I still like peanut butter). I often spent time with my Mam-maw. When I was three, I told my mom I had something in my nose. She looked into my nose and saw what she tought was an orange seed. She could not get it out. (In hindsight, wether or not it was an orange seed or not…who was supervising me??) She ended up taking me to the doctor who pulled an entire kleenex out of my nose. Gross. I do not stick kleenexes or hankies into my nose to this day. I was just doing what I had seen done.
Of course there are other things we possibly pass on to our families… When I was growing up this poem was posted on our fridge(maybe not this exact one…it has evolved over the years but a version of this poem was on our fridge:
Children Learn What They Live (1998)
by Dorothy Law Nolte (1924 – 2005)
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
What you have anticipated, my point (which could go on for a while). I hate to admit it but what this is really saying and what is on my mind today is that the culture that surrounds us influences us, whether we like it or not. It’s true. No matter how “strong” of a person you are, if you surround yourself with negative people, eventually you will find yourself slipping into negativity.
Lately, I’ve felt isolated. We have been busy. I haven’t had a chance to spend much time with my friends. And I have received some negative press (bad press). “What does that mean?” you ask scratching your head. That means people have spoken negatively about me but not to my face…more “behind my back”. And “press” means they obviously do not know me well because some of the things said are outrageous.
Words are catchy. If I sit and dwell on all the negative things said, I would be a bitter old woman (you can be old before your time). I like to believe I only believe what God says about me; who He says that I am. I know who I was. I know who I would be without Jesus in my life and I know who He says that I am. I know who I would like to be (me).
We are all “under the influence” of something or someone. My hope; my goal is to listen only to who God says that I am. Sure everyone likes a compliment but compliments don’t always come and many times they are just flattering words with no depth and less truth. I don’t need your words to make me who God says that I am. I need His words. While I am the voice of God in my child’s life at this point in my life, my hope and prayer is that he will grow in stature and in wisdom and discern the voice of God for himself. At this point, I know this I am God’s child and I hear His voice and follow Him.
On the other hand, on Sunday when I was feeling pretty sad about the betrayal of a would be friend, my friend Alice calls. We are a lot alike. We are both painfully truthful and we aren’t what I would call “flatterers”. I know I can trust her words. Plus she knows me deeply and intimately (as friends) and has known me for many years. We were chatting about her coming to visit and then moved on to other things in our lives. She is so completely happy for us buying a house; she is excited and so very joyful about the news! (I love having friends who rejoice with us!) At some point in the conversation, she said something that made me smile. She said something about me that was a funny description but so fitting… She said, “There is always a ‘buzz’ about you.” That made me smile. Because she has known me for so many years and sometimes we need to be reminded (in a positive way) about who we are because I haven’t made very many close friends here I have forgotten I am made to shine and I do not have to apologize to anyone for being who God created me to be…when I shine, I also give you permission to shine because shining is catchy too.
I will continue to do what I feel God has called me to do. In the past, my main mission and goal in life was to help others discover and pursue their calling. That hasn’t changed. I still want you to find what you love and what makes you feel alive and do it for God’s Kingdom. I want you to hear God’s voice for yourself and passionately pursue His vision for you. I hope that will be “catchy”. This is who I have been in Christ Jesus, this is who I will be. You may throw your stones at me and you may even hit me from time to time, but you will not stop me. You may slow me down but you will not stop me. I will forgive you for throwing your stones (at the back of my head) and I will see who God has made you to be and I will encourage you to hear His voice and passionately pursue it and I will help you to see your dream is not dead or hopeless it’s just in the grave right now but it will be rise again. I do not want to be you. I don’t want to Joyce Meyer. I don’t want to be Oprah. I don’t want to be Beth Moore. I want to be me; I want to fully be who God created me to be. My deepest hope is that this too is catchy. Catch it! Be who God created you to be!!
Pray for others when you see their flaws and be who God created you to be. Why do you think Jesus told us to remove the plank from our own eye and not worry about the splinter in someone else’s? Jesus didn’t go around talking to John about Peter’s flaws or talking to Peter about Thomas. Jesus spoke to who God created them to be and called forth their gift. When people are flowing in who God created them to be, the flaws begin to dissipate. We see only what we want to see. If you are looking for my flaws, you are sure to find them. If I am looking for your flaws then I am sure to find them. No matter what you say about me, I will never be flawless….you can talk about my flaws all day long that isn’t going to make them “go away”. I may never be who you want me to be. That’s okay; my goal has never been to be who you want me to be. My goal is to be who God wants me to be.
I feel my cold dissipating (my word for the day…even though I didn’t spell it correctly the first time. haha.).
Catch this: Whoever you are, God loves you, He approves of you (He may not approve of your actions but He approves of you), and He wants to be around you (Your flaws do not deter His desire to spend time with you or disqualify you or label you as defective). He has something good to say about you.