{Practicing Affirmation}

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“Sam’s book is a healing balm for cranks, misfits and malcontents who are so full of self they scarcely see, let alone celebrate, the simple beauties of imperfect virtue in others.  Or to say it differently: I need this book.” 

— John Piper, from the Forward to the book Practicing Affirmation.

I just finished reading Practicing Affirmation by author / pastor Sam Crabtree.  My borrowed library copy is almost due and going back into circulation, but I plan to exchange it for my own purchased copy.

I want to remember this book.  More importantly, I want to practice what I learned.  Here are some thoughts that grabbed me:

—Think about how often we correct / complain / criticize. This causes “drag” on a relationship, especially because corrections / complaints and criticisms tend to outweigh affirmations.

“It takes many affirmations to overcome the impact of a criticism, because criticisms are heavier and sting more.”

–Affirming others acts like a key, with the potential to unlock relationships.

“Many people are puzzled as to why their relationships seem stuck and uncooperative, yet they are not putting the key in the ignition. It’s not too late to use the key.”

–Affirmations should be consistent in a relationship.

–Affirmations should be God-centered. Focus on character, not outward appearance. Look for God’s character seen in people of all beliefs and backgrounds. Commend sincerely without flattery.

“In doing so, we’re pointing to something very valuable, and we’re saying, “I see it in you!  I value it… and the God who is the source of it!”

–When we are affirmed, it makes us happy. But the affirmation giver gains a                         mysterious joy as well.

–Affirmations are for everyone and everywhere. Use them in the workplace.  At home.  Use them in a “stuck” relationship.  Give them to your children.  Give them to your spouse.  Give them undeserved…and give generously.

–One of my favorite parts of the book was chapter 9, where it listed 100 Affirmation Ideas for Those who Feel Stuck.

“When our mouths are empty of praise for others, it is probably because our hearts are full of love for self.” – John Piper

Photo credit: Alejandro Alvarez

Word of the Day Challenge: https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/17/potential/

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{ Parallel Pain }

A friend asked me to listen to a radio conversation about this….

Should a parent share her pain with her own children?

Would it help?

Would it wound?

Would it open walls?

Would it cleanse?

Would it explain?

Should a parent share his pain?

 

For when I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.

–Psalm 32:3

Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad. –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

https://www.moodyradio.org/programs/chris-fabry-live/2018/04-2018/2018.04.16-sharing-a-parents-pain/

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/parallel/

What do you think?

{ Tending Life’s Garden }

we-have-a-little-garden
Picture and poem by Beatrix Potter

 

We have a little garden

A garden of our own

And every day we water there

The seeds that we have sown.

We love our little garden,

And tend it with such care,

You will not find a faded leaf

Or blighted blossom there.

 

When I sow pumpkin seeds, I harvest pumpkins.  When I cover the garden with dandelion-infested mulch, I find lots of dandelions growing later in July.

We know this about gardens, but sometimes forget about the law of sowing and reaping in life. When I sow bad seeds, I will reap bad fruit:

  1. When I gorge on chocolates, I will reap extra pounds.
  2. When I harbor bitterness against someone, I will reap an injured relationship and stifle forgiveness.
  3. When I allow my children to read or watch foolish things, we will reap more foolishness.

And then there are weeds….

  • Weeds grow faster than anything else.  Pull, uproot and destroy before they get so big you need an ax to chop them down.
  • Weeds are tricky.  They can grow and network underground where you can’t see them.  Little sins in the thoughts left unchecked turn into big problems later.
  • Weeds rob the good stuff.  Weeds in a relationship drain us.  We cannot enjoy each other when the annoying, prickly weeds of bad habits are bugging us.

 

Gracious God,
We want to have good soil in our souls,
show us how to tend to our spiritual gardens.
Thank you for the Master Gardener!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen

“Your mind is a garden, your thoughts are the seeds.  The harvest will bring either flowers or weeds.”

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds that you plant.” –Robert Louis Stevenson

Prayer from http://www.flowingfaith.com/2013/03/tending-your-spiritual-garden.html

 

 

{ Jello & My Mother-in-Law }

colorful jello
Multi-colored, layered jello.  One of my amazing Mother-in-Law’s edible specialties.

A few days ago, I wrote the post Moxie & My Mother-in-Law.

I promised some ideas for sweetening your relationship with your mother-in-law. They are listed below. Sometimes it helps to have a new perspective. Please add your excellent ideas in the comment section 🙂

So, if you’re wondering how to love your mother-in-law (or maybe just start liking her), here are some ideas:

  1. Do you know what pushes your buttons? Plan for the encounter before she walks in the door.  Practice receiving her ideas. Make it clear when you have a different way of doing things, but say it kindly.
  2. If you occasionally seek her advice on issues and follow it appreciatively, it may give you more space when your way isn’t Mom’s way.
  3. Set boundaries as graciously as possible, such as: “We want to spend time with you; let us know you’re coming so we can plan ahead.”
  4. Attack any problem issues when you and your husband are alone. As a team, work out a plan to improve things for the future.
  5. Mention what you like about your mother-in-law — to your husband. Complaining about his mother may only motivate your husband to defend her.
  6. Praise her sincerely. Praise her often.  Tell her what you like about her as a mother-in-law or a grandmother.  Speak of the excellent habits or qualities that she taught your husband when he was young. Show gratefulness for the sacrifices she made.
  7. Love her, forgive her, speak of her strengths and overlook her offenses. Don’t ever criticize her in front of your children. Extend understanding to your mother-in-law and speak the truth graciously. She will see your love for her…. as well as your firm resolve to create an entirely new household.

Finally, treat your mother-in-law with love, honor and respect – just like you would want a future daughter-in-law to treat you.

(c) Lisa M. Luciano 🙂

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/edible/

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