Philippians 2:4 – Do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.
It is difficult to be pushed aside; when people, those you even care about, ignore you and your needs. It’s not that we’re trying to be pushy. We just want what everyone else wants – to be loved and to love. But love can’t be a one-way street. You give others your love, yet they don’t give it back.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need help you can be pushed aside and ignored because they’re too busy dealing with their own life. However, we are busy it’s important to take the time. Make a phone call. Leave a Facebook message. Text them. You can see where I’m heading.
This world is full of people who say they are too busy to care about anyone else. But that’s never true really. It’s all about priorities. Where are yours? If you miss a day of scanning through Facebook, you feel like you’re out of touch with those you have as friends.
We live in a fast time. We all understand that our plates are getting full or are already there. We can understand what the circumstances of our friends and family are, yet there is no excuse for pushing someone away.
Wikihow.com posts an article titled, “How to Deal with People who Ignore You.” Some of their suggestions are avoid jumping to conclusions, invite them to talk privately, be nice to them and explain your feelings. This list is just a few of the article’s suggestions.
Remember, it’s never okay to be pushed aside and ignored. However, there may be a good reason why they are ignoring you and the only way to find out why is to have that quiet conversation.
The Bible verse above says to not just look out for your interests but also those of other. In this way, you may help your friend to be vulnerable and realize you truly do care about their current circumstances.
Colossians 4:6 – Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
You’re walking along minding your own business when someone steps out of the shadows and blocks your way. They begin to assault you with their words, and you’re frantically trying to think of what you said or did to make your friend so angry.
Misunderstandings can happen when you may say something and have no hidden agenda and not wanting to hurt a friend, yet they seem to turn on you and want nothing to do with you.
Quickly you think through your memories and come up with one that may explain your friend’s behavior. It’s something you said. But you have no idea that your friend had been hurt by your comment.
Misunderstandings. They happen all the time whether it’s a coworker, family member or friend things can be turned from something you spoke lightly to a misunderstanding that turns a friend into an enemy.
You’d asked how things were going at work for them. Innocent to ask about you’d thought. Yet what you didn’t know at the time, your friend had received another pink slip and was on the verge of being fired. Now your friend feels like you’re attacking them as well. They think that you don’t care about them because you brought up the subject.
But you didn’t know. You really had no clue.
Here’s another, you ask a friend how their husband is doing, not knowing that he’d just confessed to be having an affair. Your friend had been hurt and was contemplating getting a divorce. But you had no clue. Maybe you should’ve if you really were a close friend.
So, you apologize to your friend saying that you were sorry for saying anything that hurt them more. They don’t let you off the hook. They yell at you and ask how you were so insensitive.
Sometimes an apology is all that’s needed and sitting down with your friend and listening to what they’ve been going though.
Let’s turn this around. You’re the one who is hurt, and your friend is not helping you. You feel like they’re accusing you and are putting the blame of the lost job and potential lost marriage on you. So, when your friend starts to ask you questions about your life, you want to have nothing to do with them. You don’t want them around at all. Listening to you is not enough. Your friend tries to offer some advice. Oh no! Wrong thing to say.
Most people who are hurting don’t want your advice. They don’t want you to say that everything will be okay. That you’re just undergoing a test. A trial. Which is supposed to make them stronger and that things will work for the good in their life.
Then it’s back to you. Even though your friend is trying to be helpful, it’s only hurtful.
What’s a friend to do? Littlethingsmatter.com has some suggestions on how to avoid misunderstandings in their article, “Six Ways to Avoid Misunderstandings.” Here are a couple. Make sure your written communications are clear. Emails are great and fast, but if you want to be sure that your meaning is clear, writing about a subject and then handing it to your co-worker or friend is a good idea. Your co-worker will have an opportunity to read and re-read your letter. And handwriting is a lost art. Taking the time to write on paper can show your co-worker that you value their opinion. Also, there’s just something about holding a letter in your hand.
Another of the article’s idea is ask others to repeat what they heard. When you ask people to repeat what they said, not only forces them to make sure they know what you said. Saying it back can reduce misunderstandings.
No one wants to be misunderstood, so take the time to be sure at the onset of a conversation that your friend or co-worker knows your meaning, not theirs. Also, just as the Bible verse above says, your conversations should always be full of grace. That means that don’t jump down someone’s throat during a conversation. Let them finish their train of thought and then you will know how to answer them.
Psalm 127:3-5 – Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
Time passes quickly. First you have these beautiful babies on loan to you for a season. Then the babies become toddlers, and toddlers become children, and children become teenagers, then children become grownups and walk out the door to find their own dreams for life.
We’re so proud of our kids when they graduate from high school and then from college if they choose to go there.
We’re so glad that our grownup children choose to be part of our lives, but they live their own lives miles away or just up the road and hardly have the time to stop by.
The house your kids grew up in becomes quiet. Oh, so very quiet.
It happens that way and then all you have is the memories to cherish. You become a TV watching mom. Where the characters in your show become a kind of family. Sort of silly, but you try to walk around an empty house and then tell me how it is to let go of the reins of your children’s lives.
Sometimes they come to you wanting advice and sometimes they come to you just to be in your company.
Warms my heart those baby steps.
It’s a season when you get to decide what you want to do with the rest of your life. Some choose to travel, if they have the money; some choose to open a business or try their hand at writing about all those baby steps.
It’s a beautiful life having been so blessed to hear the laughter and the tears. You hug your grown-up children and must step on your tiptoes just to look up at them.
How do we keep those wonderful memories and move into our dreams? Yes, we finally have time to do so instead of washing dishes and mopping floors to clean up from all the mess those blessed children made while they were taking baby steps.
AArp.org in their article, “How to Cope With an Empty Nest,” give us some ideas on this new season thrust upon us. Their moto is: Stay strong, talk to each other and (maybe) get a dog. I like this last choice about a dog. My dog helped fill up where my children left empty. Baby steps became the sounds of clicking nails as my dog came bounding into the kitchen. They helped me get out of my apartment and meet neighbors and create new friends who instantly fell in love with my dog.
It creates a new family dynamic these baby steps. The article above suggests to not lose touch with old friends. It’s especially helpful if your friends are also going through “empty nest.” Go to the movies or join a bowling league together. You’ll find something to talk about and certainly laugh about what with your gutter balls and flying balls into the lane next to yours.
Whatever your choice is, don’t get down in the dumps and cry all day long because your kids have left home and are building their own lives.
Besides, sometimes with time, there will be baby steps running into your arms. Those wonderful grandbabies that you can love on and spoil and then send back home to their parents.
Yes, baby steps and children turning into grown ups is a good thing. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.
Psalm 29:11 – The Lord will give strength to his people; the Lord will bless His people with peace.
There are days when it feels likes the sun won’t rise. We know that it will, but from all of the turmoil we’ve been faced with recently, we experience emotional exhaustion and it’s difficult to get past it.
They say things come in threes but sometimes we’re bombarded day-after-day. So, the dreary days of the heart press us toward a place we don’t want to be.
Some winding roads of the soul keep us circling the drain. We try to reach out for the faucet to pull ourselves out, buy our hands are slippery and we keep falling.
This is what emotional exhaustion looks like:
But there is hope:
So how do we get from the negative exhaustion and into the light once more? Let’s look at a few more ways to end emotional exhaustion. Healthline.com, in their article, “Emotional Exhaustion: What it is and how to Treat It,” makes some valid points. The article first gives a description of what emotional exhaustion looks like such as accumulated stress or feeling trapped. The article also gives us symptoms of it such as lack of motivation and feelings of hopelessness, what causes emotional exhaustion such as financial stress and poverty, and how to treat emotional exhaustion such as eliminating the stressor, eating healthy, exercise, getting enough sleep, and practicing mindfulness where you focus on what’s happening in the moment such as deep breathing and paying attention to your surroundings.
Emotional exhaustion can be treated, and the gloom lifted off our horizon. There’s other strength we can find in the Bible verse above. God is the one who can give us the strength we need. He will bless us with his peace.
So the next time you find emotional exhaustion playing havoc with your life and stealing much needed peace, read the suggestions above and try a new one until you find your, “to go to,” step to find rest and peace once more.
Luke 6:31 – Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Is there someone in your life who constantly puts you down?
Is there someone in your life who constantly lifts you up and encourages you?
Is there someone in your life who makes you cry and another who makes you laugh?
Is there someone in your life who constantly hurts you?
Is there someone in your life who you need to stand clear of because they’re always stirring up the pot?
Is there someone in your life who helps you become more than who you are right now?
It’s a mixed bag when you have people in your life who don’t accept you as you are and at other times encourage you to move forward. Advice must be said in such a way that you don’t feel put down.
Communication can be positive and negative. Yet, when we begin to judge someone in our life who makes life difficult, what we must remember is that we might make life difficult for someone else.
Think through before you speak to someone:
Remember to treat them how you want them to treat you.
You will sow what you reap, my friend.
What goes around does come around.
Always think before you speak and act.
Maybe it will feel good for a moment to cut someone down, but inevitably the high will wear off as you realize that you’ve become the person who you hate.
Lifewithconfidence.com give us some suggestions in their article, “How to Deal With People who put you Down,” here are a few ideas: people who put you down are hurt themselves also, a self-confident person does not put down others. It’s no use sinking to that person’s level. That’s what they want. Here’s one to throw off the one putting you down: Tell them, “Thank you for your opinion.” This really sets them off their game. Another one is telling them, “Thank you, you might be right.” I know you may be saying right now that you want to attack them back, but that’s exactly what they want. Don’t give in to them.
It can be tiring trying not to get back at the person who hurts you, but it will never help. As the Bible verse above talks about, treat that mean person how you want to be treated, even if it means you must bite your tongue and don’t return a put down. Your peace will increase, and you also have the choice to ignore that person if possible.
Psalm 33:20, 21 - He is our help and our shield for our heart rejoices in Him because we trust in His holy name. Let Thy loving kindness be upon us as we have hoped in thee.
For those of who have experienced abuse, trust is difficult.
It’s hard to trust others.
It’s hard to trust we will make the right decisions when it comes to friends.
It’s hard to make friends.
It’s hard to believe we won’t be hurt this time, with this new friend.
But if you can’t trust yourself, life can be lonely. Lack of trust keeps the door to our heart locked. It’s easier to be alone then it is to be hurt. So, we stay behind our doors and we don’t go outside. It’s safer to avoid other people and attending events, because we don’t trust that things can be different.
Abuse leaves us exposed. We think that anyone who crosses our path is out to hurt us.
Life wasn’t meant to be lived alone. It was made for abundance. But there can’t be a fruit tree in the garden of our lives if we don’t plant the seedling.
Yet, the one who is the abuser also lives a life alone, and a life of shame. Maybe at first, they started out believing things can be different. That they won’t set out to cause others pain. Yes, they inflicted pain on others because that’s the only way they know to live.
It’s a circle for the one who is abused. At first, our new friend is fun to be around and likes us. But then, you say something, and it starts the cycle again. Anger begins to boil. The next person they meet causes their anger to become physical. Then after the abuse has stopped the abuser says that it will never happen again. They apologize and apologize, but it doesn’t take away the pain in their victim.
Part of avoiding abuse and learning to trust again is learning about abuse and what starts the abuse and how it becomes a wheel of violence. Theduluthmodel.org explains the cycle of abuse and posts a video describing the circle.
It is possible to learn to trust again no matter how difficult it is. But most importantly we must learn the early warning signs that the cycle is starting so that we can seek help. If you are afraid of your partner or of someone is beginning to show that he will hurt you, it’s time to seek help. Leave the situation and call 911 for help.
Our ultimate help comes from God. He is our help and shield and we can trust in him. He’s not out to hurt us but to provide a covering over us. His loving kindness does not come at the cost of abuse. God is worth putting our trust and hope in.
Colossians 4:2 – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
At the start of a new year, I was thinking to myself what a bad year 2019 had been for me, however, there was a lot to be thankful for in the midst of the trials:
I would say that I did, in fact, have a good year. It’s all about the way I view what I went through and knowing I wasn’t alone going through them that makes the difference. If I focus only on life being negative, then that’s probably what I will see. Each person’s viewpoint determines whether they can find joy in their life, despite what they’re currently going through.
In the article posted by thegospelcoalition.org, “4 Reasons We can be Thankful in Times of Trouble,” we find ways to look at our circumstances in a more positive way, such as because we’re not alone through the trial, because we have hope, because God is sovereign and because we have God. Though it may feel like we are alone walking through a trial, doesn’t mean that we are alone. Many other people have been strengthened by trials and so can we.
So, the next time you find yourself walking through a trial, remember there can be positive ways to consider our circumstances. One of the only ways to find the positive in our life, may mean that we need to keep our perspective from only pointing to the negative. This can help us walk through the trial and not find ourselves wandering through a desert when a rainstorm is just around the corner.
Look at your trial as a gift and you are bound to find yourself being thankful.
Psalm 68:6 – God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
It’s wonderful to have company.
It’s wonderful to have them visit you.
It’s wonderful to have coffee with friends.
It’s wonderful to help someone celebrate their birthday.
And then they were gone.
You bask in the glow of smiling faces as they sing Happy Birthday to you. It was thoughtful for them to come to you when it’s difficult for you to go somewhere on your own.
And then the party is over. The kitchen has been cleaned up. The trash is taken out from all of the wrapping paper and boxes. You’ve started your thank you cards.
And then it sneaks up on your – The silence.
Time feels like it’s standing still.
What do you do now?
Life is back to the way it used to be.
And there is a deep hole growing in your heart. So you let yourself sit in your recliner all day. At least it was supposed to be only one day. But it moves on to day two and three. The emptiness surrounds you.
Your friends came. And they didn’t have to.
Your friends and family do care about you.
I know the deep hurt in your heart, but is it really a deep hurt? Does it have to be a deep hurt.
There’s something you can do:
Pull up the memories you just made and those from before.
Remember the smiles and laughter.
Remember the small talk.
Remember the feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself.
Crisistextline.org post the article, “How to Deal With Loneliness.” The article provides the signs of loneliness such as low energy and brain fog, discusses the types of loneliness such as situational loneliness from moving to a new city, causes of loneliness such as you lost a friend or loved one, then steps to deal with loneliness such as get out there and say hello to new people.
Someone else is going to feel lonely.
Someone else has a deep hole in their heart.
And the next time you have a gathering, you’ll be better prepared to share your life with them.
It’s in the way they look into your eyes.
They see a new sparkle.
They see your renewed hope.
And when you share your reason for hope, it makes the other person smile and believe in the impossible.
Take a look at the Bible verse above. God knows that by ourselves we can be lonely, so he sets the lonely in families. I’m so thankful for that. So, the next time you’re feeling lonely, remember that God is with you and will cause your loneliness to dissolve away.
Psalm 81:6 - He says, “I removed the burden from their shoulders; their hands were set free from the basket.”
Sometimes I feel like life is rushing. I feel so busy and need to move fast.
I imagine a Taskmaster behind me running after me chasing me lifting his whip to hit me across my back. And so, I run, and I run, and I run. But when exhaustion comes upon me, I finally decide that I’m going to turn around and tell that Taskmaster that I need to take a break.
So, I turn around and who do you think the Taskmaster is that’s chasing after me lifting his whip to hit me across my back:
It’s only me that’s Chasing Life
It’s only me that gets in the way
Take a look at the Bible verse above. God doesn’t give us more burdens on our shoulders. He lifts the burden off of us. He sets us free. Remember that when you feel like a taskmaster is pursuing you.
Isaiah 46:4 – Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you.
As I find one more gray hair, I can feel myself dropping to my knees because with each hair, I not only lose respect for myself, but I also notice people who no longer appreciate the gray hairs that grow and don’t believe God is saying that even when I’m old and have gray hairs, God will sustain me.
Losing respect can be a New Year’s crusher. Can you hear the street sweeper heading in your direction? It’s loud, but many times we pretend we don’t hear it and continue down that street of loss of respect.
When we look back even 25 years ago, the wisdom that older women and men have was still considered a jewel.
But now, in 2020, it would appear that old age means:
Here are some ideas about how we can better find ways that an older generation still can contribute to the workplace on harver.com in their article, “How to Manage Generational Diversity in the Workplace.” This article discusses many of the difficulties that management has to deal with now that we have four generations working together and the differences in how each age group is affecting the work force and what each age group has to offer such as diversity and whether they have a strong work ethic. It discusses in detail the problems such as higher risks of conflicts, lack of mutual understanding, different working styles and communication gaps. Last, the article discusses how generational diversity contributes to a company.
Finally, after reading the information in the article above can help us understand each other better. The Bible verse above shows that God takes a different approach and opinion on each age group and the value he places on seeking out those who are older and showing them respect.
Karen Dalske is a freelance writer, public speaker, is active in her church and writes her blogs out of her own experiences of pain, illness and loss.