I Am Baker

criticism and community

I was lolly gaging along on Pinterest and this popped up on my screen.

criticism kills community

see more from Ann Voskamp

Talk about convicting.

I am so guilty of jumping to criticism.  So guilty of letting a small hurt or an unintentional rejection lead me to a path of character destruction.

And when I say lead me, I fully mean that I lead myself, allow myself, to go to a place of criticism of others just to pacify my hurt feelings.

Most recently the discomfort stemmed from social events that I was not included in.

I can’t help but think:

I thought we were friends?  Is it my hair?  The car I drive?  My inability to keep silent for longer than 7 seconds?  My faith?

Do you know what I am doing? Rationalizing my perceived ‘rejection’.

It has to be “something wrong with me”.

judging others

When people are getting together they are not ‘rejecting’ me, they are simply living their lives in the best way they know how.  Quite frankly, it just has nothing to do with me.  (And honestly, if my exclusion is intentional, then isn’t it for the best that I am not there?)

I am just not comfortable judging others motives right now.  It’s far too easy to look at someone and think they they have it all, that they have everything I want in my life, that the grass is greener where they are.

I am only seeing their highlight reel.

Everyone has a story...

I think it’s safe to say that coffee dates and parties exist to strengthen the existing relationships these folks have, and if so, I am ALL about that!  We should be doing all we can to strengthen the bonds that already exist.

The idea of girlfriends (new and old) creating time to get together to discuss commonalities and support each other and to have fellowship is exactly the type of behavior we need more of.  That is what community is.

Here is where I have had enlightenment of late: While these things are the exact definition of exclusive, that is what they should be.

Where do I grow the most?  In a crowded room of 1000 acquaintances or in a small setting where individual voices are heard?  In the smaller group of course. (There is a time and place for large groups, it just depends on what you are seeking to learn.)

We all have friends and bonds that create a feel of exclusivity among others.  Just because a group of friends gets together does not mean it is at the expense of others, no matter how it feels.<— I need to remember that!

When I LOOK for ways to feel bad about others choices, I find them.

When I LOOK for ways to see contentment in others choices, well, I will find it.

Shine and Let Shine!

When I am thankful and grateful for the life I am living (not stuck in a place of jealously and envy) that is when I find myself understanding why people do what they do. Accepting. Understanding. Feeling content.

Feeling true contentment in my life has awakened a new love in me.  I am finding it easier (every single day as I am always trying to grow!) to accept people for who they are right where they are.

When I am focusing on loving the life I have, THAT is when opportunities find a way of presenting themselves. The RIGHT opportunities.  Some of these social get togethers are not right for me right now. God knows exactly where I need to be and where my focus needs to be.  (On HIS will, not my own!)

Grateful Joy

I choose to feel grateful that I have a family that needs me and allows me to grow with love.

I choose to feel joy for others when they get to experience relationships in a new and more cherished way.

I choose to be kind to others not because I want something in return, but because that is what enriches my soul.

Journey

Next time a situation comes up that I start to feel that twinge of jealousy or resentment over what others are doing I hope I am still in a place of acceptance.

Next time I irrationally jump to critical conclusions about others choices I hope one of my friends smacks me upside the head and reminds me to take note of my blessings.

But just in case I fall prey to the gossip and criticism that so quickly invade my brain, here is a great list of things that happy people do.

12 Important Things Happy People Do Differently

Tribute to Stephen Covey

Because I believe that living a good life is a choice and not a reflection of our circumstances, I know that I need to be intentional with my thoughts and actions.  This is my daily prayer… for me and you!

Gods Perfect Love

Please let me know how I can more specifically be in prayer for you.

I Am Baker

Rejection and Forgiveness

I came across this quote recently and couldn’t help but take notice.

Inspirational Quote

 

“When you forgive, you heal your own anger and hurt and are able to let love lead again.  Its like spring cleaning for your heart.”

-Marco Schimoff

I sorta dismissed it because I generally disagree with the concept of “healing thyself”.  But dismissing it right away wasnt right.  Because dont we need to let God in so He can do the work He needs to?  Dont we need to make the choice to forgive before forgiveness can begin its healing properties?

Recently the value of this quote shed some light.

I have been struggling with rejection.  Worldly rejection.  Familial rejection.  Just… rejection.  And I just happen to be that person that lets things fester.

The other day I woke up and it was wonderful.  I worked out, had great devotional time, started the kids homeschooling… everything was going well.

Quite by accident, I found out that some friends had decided to exclude me from a new project.

Now, I have no idea why they made this choice.  It could have been because they had too many people with the same name as me.  Or because it was Wednesday.  Or because they needed a change.  Or because they truly didnt think about me and knowingly reject me.

But in my mind, it was completely intentional rejection.  How could they do this and not include me?  It had to be intentional.  They made a conscious choice to exclude me.

I was devastated and it proceeded to ruin my entire day.  I just couldnt let it go.

In bed that night, the situation kept running through my head.  Since there was no logical way to reason out the situation, I decided that my only option was to reject them back.  Without them knowing why, I was no longer going to support them and their choices.  If they didnt want me as a part of their project, then that choice was going to ultimately remove me from their lives.

I could almost feel the bitterness growing.  My choice to react and reject based on a situation that I had no clear facts on had planted a seed of resentment in my heart.  It grew when I fed it.  It grew when I didnt.  It was quickly growing beyond my control.

The only remedy to this kind of bitterness is forgiveness.  The absolutely only way that I would be able to get my heart back would be to forgive them.

To forgive them.  To make the choice to let go of any hurt I had perceived they caused me.

I had to pray, “Lord, you know my heartache in this.  But I trust you.  I know that sometimes you put people in my life to teach me just like you remove them to teach me.  Lord, help me to truly forgive these precious ladies and to simply love them.  Remove my judgement.  Remove my bitterness.  No matter what they may say or do, help me to love them as You love them.”

Prayer

In all honestly, prayers such as that are not life long in their healing.  Since I still do not know the reasoning behind my friends actions, I still have occasional doubt and insecurity when I interact with them.  But now, instead of feeding into bitterness, I know where to direct those un-godly feelings.  And remember to look to Him for my value.  To trust Him that when I am in His will, He has me exactly where I need to be.

Funny things is that they will never know the heart struggle that their actions inspired.

But I am thankful for their actions non the less, because through them, I am learning to lean more on God.