Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Good Advice

I read this verse Monday morning and it really stuck with me.  Paul is closing his first letter to the Thessalonians with this stellar advice. 

Be at peace among yourselves - Paul is talking about fellow believers here.  Believers should be at peace with one another.  We have one HUGE thing in common - our believe in GOD.  But there are lots of different things that we disagree about.  That's why we have different denominations.  When the non-believing world sees us arguing about these things that sends a message.  This doesn't mean that we shouldn't talk about our differences but we should disagree agreeably.  You can talk about disagreements and show love to that person at the same time.  Let's practice that! 

Admonish the idle - Paul was talking about those who refuse to work.  It made me think about people who are, by choice, empty headed. They fill their minds with crap.  As computers taught me years ago - garbage in = garbage out.  Most empty headed people don't have lots of interesting things to say they resort to gossip.  Of course, it's not very nice to tell someone they are empty headed (see above) but you can refuse to engage in their empty headed talk. 

Encourage the fainthearted; help the weak; be patient with them all - These all go together for me.  I try to be an encourager and a helper to everyone.  Patience is harder.  It's super easy to encourage and help someone the first time they need it.  It's harder the 4th or 5th time they need help for the same issue, patience wears thin.  At least that's how I feel when I have to keep asking for help for the same issue.  I assume the person is thinking "why can't she get it together?" Here I have to remind myself that GOD doesn't lose patience with me when I keep screwing up on the same things.  Because I've been afforded that grace, I should work to extend that grace to others.

What do you think about this verse?  What does it bring up for you?

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

A Nickle's Worth of Free Advice

Hello friends! I'm at a librarian conference this week.  My brain is fried.  I've been shoving learning in all day and feverishly writing notes and ideas.

So, this is all I've got for you:

Don't conduct personal business on your cell phone in public. 

You're welcome.

Just walking down the halls of the convention center today I heard conversations about:

  • debt consolidation loans
  • medical bills
  • medical diagnosis
  • problem employees

To be clear, I wasn't trying to hear any of these conversations and I didn't slow down to hear more.  

I get it, you're probably out of town and you have business to take care of.  I advise finding a secluded spot and not a table or chair or floor in the flow of traffic. 

That's it.  Keep your private life private.   You're welcome. 

Maybe I should add - don't write blog posts when you're mentally and physically tired...

Thursday, April 11, 2019

Talking Does Not Equal Communicating

Have you ever walked away from someone and wondered what just happened? You think you've just had a conversation with the person but when you think back, nothing really got communicated.  Communication implies understanding. 

When B was little and I was concerned about autism, I had asked our family doctor.  I was promptly dismissed and told "He's too verbal to be autistic".  At this time, B wasn't using many words but he was making a lot of noise.  He wasn't easily understood verbally.  But he could communicate.  He communicated with his sippy cups.  When they were empty I got a sippy to the head.  I knew exactly what he was trying to say.

B & Einstein
not related to this post but two cool dudes
These days, B's still pretty verbal.  He's also not always communicative.  He can ask for what he wants now and that's HUGE.  I can't tell you how important this is. For years I carried a huge backpack of toys so I could guess which one he wanted.  It also contained toys for other kids so they wouldn't touch the ones he had or the others that were special to him. He might not have wanted Mr. Potato Head right that minute but he didn't want you to have it either.  Here's some matchbox cars he doesn't care about.

Sometimes B is scripting and I have no idea what he's talking about.  Scripting means that he's repeating something he's heard on a video.  I haven't seen all the videos he has so I'm often lost.  In kindergarten and first grade he'd script in the appropriate context.  He would repeat things he'd heard and it would be appropriate for that moment.  It was fascinating. 

The most important times that he can't communicate is when he's overwhelmed.  Asking him questions to help him understand what's happening often leads to more agitation.  Often, we try to get him safe and leave him alone.  Not physically alone but we don't talk to him.  We don't offer him choices.  We stay silence.  Give him space to work through whatever's happening.  Usually, he can't discuss what happened right after the incident is over.  Most of the time, we talk about what happened at bed time.  That way, he's had time to sort through everything.  He's a truth teller so I don't worry about him lying to me.  On the rare incidences that he does lie, he tells on himself quickly. 

We can usually tell when B is stressed but we don't often know what's stressing him.  We can guess and we try to talk him through those situations.  We try to honor his requests during these times.  For example, he's been asking for us to pray for him to have a good night's sleep every night for about a week.  We pray at night but this is a specific request that makes me wonder.  So, I ask him questions and try to be more observant. 

B may not communicate traditionally but if you're observant and patient you can usually figure him out. 

Tuesday, April 9, 2019


In January, I wrote about my word for 2019: Better.  This past weekend I attended our church's women's conference, Bloom.  One of the speakers, Debbie Stuart, talked about her history of yearly words.  She had awesome stories of how GOD was working through her words. Each November, Debbie starts asking GOD to make her word known to her.  Once she knows the word, she defines it and looks it up Biblically.

I will admit that I didn't pray about what my word should be this year.  But I do believe that GOD can work through my word.   So, I decided to define my word and look it up Biblically.

- more excellent
- improve on

There are lots of Bible verses with the word better.  Lots of them are in my favorite Exodus.  Those are the laments of Israelites - It would have been better to die in Egypt than to die in this desert. So, I went to the New Testament.  Still lots of verses. I choose three.

For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be GOD's will, than for doing evil.
     1 Peter 3:17 ESV
 I love this one because I do want to be obedient, no matter the cost.

This makes Jesus the guarantor of the better covenant.
     Hebrews 7:22 ESV
 This verse is a great reminder that Jesus died to make sure I have a home in Heaven. 

Though we speak in this way, yet in your case, beloved, we feel sure of better things - things that belong to salvation For GOD is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for His name in serving the saints, as you still do.
     Hebrews 6:9-10 ESV
Better paired with serving makes me love these verses.  I also love the though of better things that come with salvation. 

What about you?  Did you settle on a word? Have you looked it up Biblically?  Let me know in the comments!