I am no longer the things of my past...I am the daughter of the Great I AM.

Exodus 3:14
And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"
2 Corithians 6:18
I will be a Father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Monday, June 11, 2012

One Proud Mama

I am often proud of my children. Let's face it, most mamas are often proud of their children. Today I am especially proud of Ethan. For those of you that don't know, he is a golfer. He loves it, and has played since he could walk. He is 12, and loves telling people that he has been playing for 11 years. During the summer, we travel all over north east Texas for him to play in junior tournaments. Usually, the whole family is able to go. However, Jason couldn't get off. So Erin stayed with him, and I took Ethan to his tournament. We woke up at 4 am and traveled 3 hours for him to play today. He had a great round of golf, and posted the W (that means he won) in his age group. Yes, I am proud of the win, but that is not what has made me the Proud Mama I am tonight. Three other things happened today that I am most proud of.

First of all, Ethan's round of golf started pretty rough. He double bogeyed first hole, then bogeyed his second and third hole. That is enough to ruin anybody's attitude, but he maintained his composure. (This is an area we have been working on.) It is easy to have a few bad holes, get frustrated, and just give up on the whole round. He never did this. After 5 holes, he was 5 over par. (Not so great) Then he got in a groove... he finished the day 5 over par! (Again, for those of you that don't know golf... that is a great round!) By keeping his attitude under control, he came back and won the tournament. Yes, this made me proud.

Second, the boy he was paired with today, Evan, started out having a good round, and then blew up. He had one bad hole, and then could not get re-focused. He became very frustrated (to the point of tears although I was not supposed to see those). Ethan has been in this same position before. He understood what Evan was feeling. Ethan wasn't overbearing, but took every chance he could to encourage Evan. By the end of the round, Evan got his composure back, and finished strong. As a matter of fact, he finished 2nd. I was already proud of Ethan, but then Evan's father told me that he was glad that his son was playing with Ethan today. He said he could tell that Ethan was a good kid. He was glad that if his son was going to blow up, that it was Ethan he was playing with. Yep, that made me very proud.

The final thing that makes me proud happened after the round was over... but started before it ever began. This morning when we arrived at the course, we discovered that the man in charge had arrived late. (This was due to a series of events he could not help.) He was not set up, and therefore could not check the players in upon arrival. That meant he had to check them in during announcement/instruction time. While Ethan was on the driving range, everyone was called in 15 minutes sooner than on a normal day. Ethan had not hit any of his woods... this frustrated him. He began fussing loudly! No other players were around, but he was loud enough for the man in charge to hear. Of course I scolded him, and told him to get over it. I didn't think any more about it. However, after the round was over, Ethan asked me if he should apologize to the man. I told him that would be a good thing for him to do. So we waited until after the medal ceremony and Ethan approached the man and apologized for his earlier behavior. The man had not heard, (or was gracious enough to say he didn't), but was appreciative, and a little surprised at Ethan apologizing. This may have made me the most proud!

As I think back through today, I realized that in the midst of the numerous mistakes Jason and I (mostly I) make as parents, we must be doing something right as well. We are very proud of the young man he is, and pray daily that he will continue to grow in God. We also pray that we will have discernment as we direct him to be the man God has planned for him to be.

Ok, I am through bragging about my kid ... for now ... ;-)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Interpreter Needed

A few years ago, we were in the middle of flipping a house. Jason had a framer there that spoke with a mexican accent, and a plumber with a redneck dialect. At one point, the plumber had misplaced his drill and wanted to know if the framer had seen it. Both men were standing in the kitchen area, speaking English, and yet neither could understand the other. Jason had to step up and be the interpreter... please remember they were all speaking English! My story here can not begin to describe just how funny the scene was. Literally, one man would speak, then look at Jason who would turn to the other and repeat what was said. I had to leave the room so I would not laugh out loud. We have laughed many times through the years about Jason being the job site interpreter!

We laugh about this, but I wonder how often do we need an interpreter... even when we are speaking or typing the same language. In an age where there is so much communication with text, emails, Facebook, and twitter, I think we may sometimes need an interpreter for the typed word. When you are speaking with someone, you can hear their voice inflection, you can watch their body language, and you can view their facial expressions. (Obviously if you are on the phone, you have to rely strictly on voice inflection.) These cues help us to interpret what has been said. However, when we read something it doesn't always come with inflection attached. We try to add smileys or abbreviations to help, but that still doesn't always put the correct emphasis on what was said. There have been many feelings hurt, and relationships busted simply because someone misinterpreted what they read.

Recently, I was involved in a situation where something was said on Facebook in a joking, yet loving way. Another person read it, believed it to be ugly, (because this person did not have all the facts), and passed it on to others with the wrong interpretation. Now, what was meant as a term of endearment, has been perceived as derogatory, and strife was the result.

Communicating through technology is so easy. So how can we combat the misunderstandings.

First of all, we need to let God be our interpreter. When we read something that we are not sure about, we need to ask God to help us understand what was meant. Ask Him to give you a peace about what was said. You may need to ask the person who said it to clarify what was meant. If you do, you will want to do that with a peaceful spirit, not a confrontational one. If indeed you had not misunderstood, you will need God's peace to deal with it. Above all, you need to handle the situation one on one... don't call up, text, twitter, or Facebook a bunch of others to get them just as stirred up as you are.

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:15

Second, we need to think before we type. Instead of just quipping something out there, we need to consider what implications may come with that. A friend of my runs this little test before she says something:

Is it true?

Is it honest?

Is it just?

Is it pure?

Is it lovely?

Is it a good report?

Is there any virtue in it?

Is it praiseworthy?

If not, then try to think of a way to turn it into one of the above before saying it or sharing it.

Think on things so great things found in Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8

If we would all run this same test, I think we would have a lot fewer misunderstandings, and fewer needs for an interpreter.