Monday, August 18, 2014

Owning my Reactions

So- yeah- I feel like this-lately- like people are making me act a certain way-like my reactions are someone else's issue-I really am struggling with this girls...

... God is as always dealing with me on this...thank God He keeps teaching me even when I am not always the best student...

...SO lately-I REALLY feel squeezed tight by those around me and the things that they do/don't do...things that hurt, things that are just straight up insensitive and I have been asking God to help me determine how I should be dealing with this and He has been revealing a hard truth to me-

...maybe it can be helpful for you as well-but as with anything I share- take what you need from it and leave the rest...

Here it is:

...God is revealing to me that while yes, nicer people who do what I think is best and right ARE easier for me to glide along life with and YES sometimes people are wrong in their actions towards us and of course we don't have to put up with certain things...but...

...regardless- my reactions reveal...what is already.in. me...yes-I said that right- people don't create the yuck in me- they REVEAL it.
And it is time for me to take a good look in the mirror and see what is really in there.  

God reminded me the other day of something that really stuck with me in the past-

I heard a speaker once who had a bottle of water with dirt in it...she said- "If you look at the bottle straight on- you can't see the dirt; however- when you SHAKE the bottle...you SEE the dirt. You see what is ALREADY INSIDE of the bottle. But if you do not shake the bottle, the dirt is still in there, it is STILL DIRTY, correct?"

When we are shaken by others actions, inactions, words, etc...what comes out of us, is-what is already IN US. It is our sin. And it is OURS ALONE to deal with.

NOW-I don't like this so much-I mean, I have a right to get mad at times, don't I? Um...yes- anger is okay- if it does not lead to sin...


I'm gonna be honest with you ladies-I REALLY did not like what God was trying to teach me at first (Have I already mentioned this?ha!); however- the more I chewed on it and applied it to my own life- the more I grew to appreciate it. In some ways- it has begun setting me free from some things...and I love it when God uses hard stuff to un-cage me a bit...

You can't change something about yourself if you are always blaming someone else for what you are doing. It's not possible. You just can't. And you know what happens when you do- resentment, anger, bitterness and your DIRT just gets DIRTIER. And you know what else you do when you blame- you give away your power to LET GOD CHANGE YOU... 

Well- there it is...

My lesson I want to share and pass on to all my Mamas out there who are reacting up a storm to their nutty kiddos who do things that make absolutely no sense and to their hubbies who, well....we don't need to be specific, but we all know that Men and Women have to lean crazy hard on Jesus in order to get along and love each other.

I think our reactions can be amazing teachers when we choose to own them and learn from them...a lesson I will always be learning, progress-not perfection, always.

Just two key lessons I have learned from owning my reactions- I hope that in some way they help:

1. They clue me in to my need for Jesus.  Some days-things are smooth- everyone seems to be doing alright and life feels fairly breezy-I may skip my time with God, and kind of slack a bit on my focus-but then, someone irks me and it happens AGAIN- I get ugly and I remember how MUCH I need Jesus to keep me straight. I need Him to help me be better than that old stuff, that old girl-I need Him to help me walk as the new creation I am in Him.

2. They remind me of some issues I have from my past that need to be dealt with. Sometimes it is trust issues, maybe I am angry about something, and you know what? It is all good because I can't deny these things- the past teaches me and I can let God redeem the past as I work through the present. I can learn from these issues and overcome. My reactions can be kind of like a spotlight on something that I have not yet handed over to God. And I CAN change, with God's help.

One last thought- when faced with your reactions- don't beat yourself up about them. You are human, you are a sinner and you have a Savior who is right here with you to help you grow.

You will never reach perfection, but you will grow and change and blossom and shine with His amazingly bright and brilliant light- the more you lay down of yourself and the more you depend on Him.

I love you ladies and I hope that something I have shared encourages you and challenges you all at the same time.