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Discerning Whether Or Not To Give Empathy…

 

We should be careful not to choose to give a mini-sermon to a friend or family member when they are longing for a kind word.  People sometimes share incidents that discourage or upset them. While they may be hoping for an understanding response,  sometimes we hit them with a totally unsympathetic response.  They then feel even more discouraged.

It may very well be that the painful incident was brought about because of their own careless words or behavior. A gentle word brings healing. At the right time, a word of advice may be welcomed and even appreciated.

Often, well meaning family members or friends are too quick to point out a fault of yours that they believe caused the incident.  Right or wrong, it doesn’t help a bit but actually causes deeper pain and discouragement.  Recently a very painful situation came back to my mind, not because of the hurt but because a person in my aerobic dance class said a simple but kind thing to me. Here it is, thirty five years later and I still remember it as a healing balm that brought tears to my eyes. It restored my soul.

So, next time we are tempted to react to someone’s report of a disappointment, let our first words be kind and gentle.   We can later help them sort out the situation.  It is always possible they were unfairly accused or lost a promotion through no fault of their own.   And if it was due to their own attitude or negligent behavior, there are ways to help them figure it out for themselves.  Or perhaps they already know but are upset and frustrated with their own mistakes.

If we take a few minutes to meditate on this, chances are an incident will come to  mind.  I doubt the woman in my aerobic dance class remembers her kind words, even though several times in the next few weeks I did tell her how they helped me.

We tend to focus on the negative rather than appreciate the “good advice” we have received. Therefore I have made up my mind to keep my comments encouraging.

dm

 

 

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Are you happy. . . or contented? Or still seeking?

What makes you happy?  Is it a momentary feeling or a state of mind?

Some experts describe happiness as a decision, while others say  it is well-worth

a determined search, no matter how long it takes.

“I have decided to be content in every situation”.  This takes concentration

and deliberation.   And it wasn’t my idea, it originated with someone who

suffered a lot, including surviving a shipwreck and enduring unfair

beatings.  But it works!

Yes, it takes a lot of practice and beginning again and again.  In time, it even

gets a little easier.

The best part is, happiness frequently drops in and real joy overcomes us.

DM

A Mother’s Day Remembered!

Still a fond memory…

Heres Your Hope

Having been a mother for over 50 years now, I have enjoyed many great Mother’s Day

celebrations.  Yet. one comes to mind that is different from the rest.  .   .

Sometimes, we are able to help someone put the pieces of their life together.

We may be the bit of glue that holds it together.

   .

One May in the mid eighties, all of my kids had to work on Mother’s Day.  At

that time, I was Youth Director of my church and had offered to take teen twin boys out to

a forest preserve for a picnic.  (They lived with their grandma since neither their mom or

dad were involved in their life.)  The boys were ready and eager to leave right after church.

So we grabbed the cooler I had packed with sandwiches, snacks and cold pop.  It

was a nice day, and for hours we three played Chicago softball, munched and talked.

On the way home…

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Playing The Victim Role? So, What Are The Benefits?

 

victim card

Popular Life Coach, Tony Robbins, recently publicly apologized for a comment made at one of his “Unleash the Power Within” seminars.  He had suggested he suspected some women in the #MeToo Campaign may be using  “Victimhood” to gain significance.

“Trying to make someone else look bad while boosting one’s own image is not a positive behavior,” stressed Robbins.

Of course he is right, generally speaking.  However, most women who chose to join the “#Me, Too,” evidently sincerely believe they are publicly making their accusations to protect others. They considered Robbin’s remarks very offensive.

                So, he apologized!

 Yet, the question of whether there are benefits to playing a victim role remains unanswered.  Whenever one exaggerates a minor criticism or comment in order to sound as though they were misunderstood or mistreated, it usually quickly becomes a serious role play.

 Transparency flies out the window.

DM

 

“Suffering For Lack Of Knowledge”

One of the most memorable and meaningful experiences of God’s Grace in my life happened many years ago.  At that time, my two-month-old baby was suffering from a  harsh cough which seemed to be getting worse by the minute.  After taking him to his pediatrician, who was very concerned but unsure of  the cause, I followed his advice and took Timmy to a pediatric heart specialist.  He, too, was very concerned and considered my baby to be seriously ill, but was also unable to make a confident diagnosis.  The pediatric heart specialist recommended we get Timmy immediately to Chicago’s Children’s Memorial Hospital.  We lived in the northwest suburbs at that time, so were able to get him there fairly quickly

tim

However my critically ill son was not examined until countless forms were completed while he was vigorously crying, even turning blue from time to time, but not yet receiving help with his respiratory problem.

Finally, Timmy was admitted but once again, his illness was not accurately diagnosed.  Several doctors sincerely tried to identify what was causing his breathing difficulties and harsh coughing.  For several days they observed him, but the truth is, he was not improving.  Praying helped me remain somewhat calm, but fear of what the final diagnosis would be was overwhelming.  Timmy was still struggling night and day, just to breathe and the continuous coughing was wearing him out, yet he rarely fell asleep.

I stayed with my child at the hospital as he would be in danger of choking if left alone.  There was a severe shortage of nurses at that time and most of the youngsters in the hospital had to be left alone much of the time.

My faithful prayer partners and I fervently prayed around the clock for his healing.  One lesson I had read in a book by Catherine Marshall was about The Prayer of Relinquishment.  Actually, I had tried to push it out of my mind as it seemed too difficult to even contemplate at this disturbing time in my life. But, it seemed the more I tried to avoid even thinking about it, the more it kept returning to my mind. I didn’t truly believe I had strong enough faith to pray it and honestly mean it.   So instead, I continued to pray the same plea: Please, Gracious, Loving Heavenly Father, just heal my baby and let this dreadful time be over.  I will thank and praise You always. In Jesus’ name I pray.  Amen!          

Meanwhile, Timmy continued to gasp to get his breath, still turning blue.  It seemed to help when I picked him up and gently turned him upside down. But no improvement.

Finally, the power of God’s Holy Spirit came on me and gave me the courage I needed.  I knew it was time for me to pray The Prayer of Relinquishment.  After another short but seemingly fruitless visit by a new doctor, I fell to my knees in front of Timmy’s bed.  Struggling to be sincere, my prayer went something like this:  “Gracious Heavenly Father, Thank you for hearing this prayer. Thank You for this precious baby boy who is such a blessing.  Today I am intentionally surrendering him back to you.  He is Yours . . . Your will be done.  If it is Your Will to take him to be with You, I will still praise Your Holy name.  I relinquish Timothy Jon to You in the name of my Lord and Savior, your Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen!   

As I got back on my feet, I felt a bit of fear trying to overcome me, but at the same time  an even stronger sense of relief.  Nothing had changed with my son’s condition, but I did have a new feeling of peace in my spirit.

The next day, another new doctor stopped in the hospital room to examine Timmy. He was kind and gentle but did not offer a diagnosis.  Later that same day, one of the regular doctors came in with good news.  The head pediatrician had diagnosed my son with whooping-cough and had ordered gamma globulin.  Treatment would begin as soon as this medicine arrived. What a relief!

Once the treatment was started, Timmy began to improve rapidly.  Soon his health was restored and he was able to go home where his big sister happily welcomed him with hugs and kisses. He was no longer contagious and everyone was happy to see him well again.

We have never been able to solve the mystery of how Timmy caught whooping-cough. He had been given the first shot of the DTaP vaccine but doctors all seemed to agree it was doubtful it had affected his respiratory system.  I am not sure I agree with their conclusions about that, however.

And I may not know for sure until the day I meet Jesus in Heaven, face to face, if my finally giving up my son to God and asking Him for His will to be done, had anything to do with the accurate diagnosis finally bringing about Timmy’s recovery. Many very sincere believers pray similar prayers but have not experienced the recovery for which they believed.

It is my sincere opinion that the medical knowledge of the chief pediatrician who eventually made the accurate diagnosis and prescribed the right treatment brought about his recovery.

Praying sincerely for an accurate diagnoses and maintaining hope worked!

Living on Florida’s East Coast Anastasia Island, is  delightful, especially for an ordinary little beach mouse like myself.  Soft ocean breezes cool me on hot days, as I sleep inside the dunes.  When I roam around on chilly days, the sun keeps me warm.  Since I am nocturnal, (I search for food at night), most of my day is spent getting rest.

Making my way in the middle of night,  by moonlight, is how I fetch my food.  I especially enjoy finding evening primrose and bluestem plants to enjoy with my regular sea-oats. We bring our food into the burrows to stash for rainy days when it is harder to find fresh food.           It is important that I stay on the lookout for feral cats and skunks or snakes who would consider me a tasty moral.  I am considered an endangered species, because of these creatures who want me for dinner but also mostly because people keep building condos and hotels that destroy mouse homes.  I have cousins who live in Alabama and are known as 

Playing the Victim Role. So, What Are The Benefits?                                       

victim card

Popular Life Coach, Tony Robbins, recently publicly apologized for a comment made at one of his “Unleash the Power Within” seminars.  He had suggested he suspected some women in the #MeToo Campaign may be using  “Victimhood” to gain significance.

“Trying to make someone else look bad while boosting one’s own image is not a positive behavior,” stressed Robbins.

Of course he is right, generally speaking.  However, most women who chose to join the “#Me, Too,” evidently sincerely believe they are publicly making their accusations to protect others. They considered Robbin’s remarks very offensive.

                So, he apologized!

 Yet, the question of whether there are benefits to playing a victim role remains unanswered.  Whenever one exaggerates a minor criticism or comment in order to sound as though they were misunderstood or mistreated, it usually quickly becomes a serious role play.  Transparency flies out the window.

DM

 

Here Is An Old Favorite Worth A Second Read. ” The Playground Of The Mind”

Featured Image -- 1205

 

Part of preparing for being “snowed in” when my family and I lived up in
the North Woods of Wisconsin included a visit to the public library. We
all stocked up on books, including three-year old Timmy’s favorite, “Mop Top,”
and ten-year-old Pammy’s favorite, “Little House on the Prairie.”
Two books I selected were “Beyond Ourselves” by inspirational author, Catherine
Marshall, and “Psycho Cybernetics,” by surgeon Maxwell Maltz. Both were so good
I didn’t mind a bit when we were snowed in. A crackling fire in t our
heatilator fireplace, a cup of hot chocolate and the sight of snow falling out the
window set the right mood for my mind-boggling books
Plastic Surgeon Maxwell Maltz made strong and memorable points . . . these two
quotes can influence many of us as we achieve our goal of holding on to hope.
“This is where you will win the battle –in the playground of the mind.”
“Accept yourself as you are! Otherwise, you will never see opportunity. You will not feel free to move toward it; you will feel you are not deserving.”
For years after reading this book, its various strong points crossed my mind.
The other book I read that winter had an equally powerful impact on me.C

 

Catherine Marshall became a widow suddenly, when her
husband, Peter, died of heart attack. Writing her first book, A Man
Called Peter, which later became a motion picture, helped restore her hope.
Then she began an intense study of spiritual renewal and wrote the book
Beyond Ourselves.
I am sharing these two books because in the years to come they helped
me get through very difficult times.
Sometimes reading and embracing inspirational material makes the difference in our
ability to hold on to hope…it works for me, and I hope it does for you too!
DM

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Lincoln Said It Right!

At the end of the devastating Civil War, Lincoln called for a spirit of reconciliation and an end to animosity.

“With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation’s wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and orphan — to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”                                   Second Inaugural Address (delivered March 4, 1865).

Hopefully, we as Americans can listen to his wise counsel and find ways to stop the violence.   Listening, learning and loving . . .may be good for starters.