Tag Archives: Grace

R-E-S-P-E-C-T – part 6

(Part 6 – Grace & Respect Walk Hand in Hand)

Let’s make sure that the words we speak to our children include words
of grace and respect.

Chuck Swindoll

     If you’re a regular Listening on the Journey… reader, you know the last few blog posts have focused on the matter of respect. This topic has triggered many subsequent thoughts for me. In the last post, I communicated the notion that respect is linked to love.

     Today, I’d like to introduce another thought: Grace walks hand in hand with respect.

     One reader commented that respect is learned from childhood, and I couldn’t agree more. Children who are treated with respect and who watch respect modeled in the home will be more likely to grow into respectful adults.

     Nothing breaks my heart more than when I hear reports of child abuse.

     Like most conduct, abusive behavior toward children lies on a continuum of ultra-permissiveness to cruel violence. Most of us have at times fallen somewhere on the continuum.

     I’m a grandmother now, but I remember my parenting years well. Sometimes—usually, because I was too tired to expend the energy required—I was guilty of not administering loving, fair, consistent discipline.

     At other times—usually because I was too frazzled to discipline my own frustration—I raised my voice unnecessarily, made a comment I’d regret later or was overly harsh in response to my child’s age-appropriate behavior.

     Devaluing children has been common throughout the ages. I love the way Jesus acknowledged little ones:

     People brought babies to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. When the disciples saw it, they shooed them off. Jesus called them back. “Let these children alone. Don’t get between them and me. These children are the kingdom’s pride and joy. Mark this: Unless you accept God’s kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you’ll never get in.” (Luke 18:15-17 MSG)

     As I was getting ready to write today’s post, I decided to Google “grace and respect” to see if anyone else had linked these two attributes. My search unearthed the wonderful quote I used to introduce this post from Chuck Swindoll, one of my favorite contemporary Bible teachers.

     Showing grace and respect to children is a great starting point. Grace-filled words and respectful actions— whether to our own sons and daughters, precious grandkids like Emmi and Reeve in the photo below, or the disruptive little one in the restaurant or on an airplane—reflect the heart of Jesus.

     Today’s post concludes the R-E-S-P-E-C-T series. Next time, I’ll begin a series I’ve entitled, Grace Speaks… I hope you’ll join me.

     Until then, blessings on your journey. May your days be filled with grace and respect…

Sue Reeve

 

 

A Prayer for the Storm…

Sue’s Note: In Monday’s post, I discussed life’s storms. Even as Jesus spoke peace into a terrifying storm his disciples experienced on the Sea of Galilee, I believe Jesus can speak peace into storms you and I face in the 21st Century.

In today’s post, I offer a heartfelt prayer for readers who are weathering a particularly difficult storm. I know most who read this blog are women, but I hope if you’re a guy and this prayer applies, please substitute ‘him’ or ‘his’ for each feminine pronoun.

Lord,

For each friend—whether I’ve met her in person or not—who’s struggling in a storm, I offer this prayer.

First, I want to thank you for people who have prayed for me when I was overwhelmed by life’s circumstances, and my soul wearied with the wrestling.

Please, Lord, speak peace into her storm. May my friend, in your time, see this season of dark desolation as a backdrop to display the jewel of your grace.

Enable my friend’s spirit to catch glimpses of your goodness as she keeps trudging forward. Give her strength to keep placing one faltering foot of faith in front of another.

Enable her knowledge and belief in you to move from her head into her heart. May she feel in the very depths of her being—that secret place only your Spirit can reach—that you not only love her as you love everyone else, but that you cherish her as a unique individual whom you fashioned in your divine image.

Lord, won’t you give my friend the gift of ideas as she sorts imaginatively through the internal clutter. Help her discern well your best plan for future steps.

So often I’ve believed I must be in control. Thank you for the way you’re showing me the freedom that comes when I’m willing to relinquish my firm grasp and allow you to control what I’m not equipped to manage. I pray you would tenderly show my friend how to loosen her grip and place into your trustworthy hands every hope, dream, disappointment and doubt.

One of my favorite photos from our trip to Israel is of fellow traveler, Sarah, praying on the Sea of Galilee. Like Sarah, II often pray with open hands—not because I am pious, but to remind me of my tendency to want to be in control rather than relinquishing my grasp into God’s trustworthy hands.

As she walks in new freedom, I ask you will replace despair with hope. Energize her as she pursues her dreams and uses her gifts. Cover her with the umbrella of your transcendent peace and patience.

Finally, Lord, I pray my personal favorite prayer for my friend and sister-of-the heart:

God, Surprise her!

In the name of the Father, Son and Spirit, I make these requests,

     Amen

Be blessed…

     

Sue Reeve

Thoughts About Acronyms…

     A few years ago, while still working for a government agency, I participated in a presentation on managing workplace stress at a conference attended by over 300 technical professionals. Our presentation was last on the schedule.

     I sat through multiple talks on topics about which I was totally ignorant, and, to be truthful, quite uninterested. As I listened, I became aware that one professional acronym after another was being used. Glancing around the large conference room, I had the feeling I was the only one who had no clue what they meant.

     Hoping it appeared I was taking notes, I began jotting down every acronym familiar to me, identifying a couple that had become helpful tools.

     An acronym is a word or phrase formed from the first letters of other words.

     Acronyms are used in:

  • Government (CIA – Central Intelligence Agency;)
  • Business (AKA – Also Known As)
  • Identifying an individual (SWF – Single White Female) or organization (AMA – American Medical Association)
  • Describing (OTC – over the counter) or informing (PST – Pacific Standard Time)
  • Expressing emotion (LOL – Laughing Out Loud)
  • Texting or Messaging, (BTW – by the way;).

     Today’s post isn’t a tutorial on acronyms, but I’d like to share three acronyms I’ve found beneficial.

     The first is commonly used in 12-step groups and helps people in recovery identify relapse warning signs. Any 12-step participant will recognize the acronym HALT, reminding him/her to ask:

  • Am I HUNGRY?
  • Am I ANGRY?
  • Am I LONELY?
  • Am I TIRED?

     A “Yes” answer is reason to stop and assess a vulnerable emotional state.

     The next acronym is one my friend, Ashley, taught me. Concerning “naughty” childhood behaviors, think of the word, HOT, asking:

  • Is the child HUNGRY?
  • Is the child OVER-STIMULATED?
  • Is the child TIRED?

     Soon after talking with Ashley, Ron and I watched our granddaughter. Emmi spent the night at our house, sleeping in a strange bed and getting up extra early. We’d taken her to McDonalds for lunch. She’d eaten mostly French fries. Then, we took her to the park where she ran around, climbed bars, went up and down slides and played hard with new friends.

     When it was time to go home and take a nap, our granddaughter ran away, balked when asked to hold our hand, pouted and then cried uncontrollably. I felt frustration mounting, afraid I’d lose patience. Then I remembered the HOT acronym. I wasn’t sure if my 4-year-old granddaughter was hungry, but there was no doubt she was over-stimulated and very tired. Extending grace, the acronym reminded me, was the best response.

     Three little questions within an easy-to-remember acronym reminded me to speak softly, gather up my granddaughter, rock and sing gently. Soon, the worn-out little girl was sound asleep. Grandma also napped, and because she’d followed one little acronym, fell asleep without regrets!

     The final acronym—THINK—has been one of the most helpful communication tools I’ve ever learned. Before speaking or pushing that “Send” button—especially during a tense situation—THINK,

  • Is what I’m about to say/write TRUE?
  • Is what I’m about to say/write HELPFUL?
  • Is what I’m about to say/write INSPIRATIONAL?
  • Is what I’m about to say/write NECESSARY?
  • Is what I’m about to say/write KIND?

How about YOU?

  • Are there acronyms that serve as helpful reminders to you? If so, we’d love to hear about them.

Now, in closing, I’d like to say, TTFN and TTYL[1]

Sue Reeve

  1. Ta-ta for Now and Talk to You Later! While Ron barbequed steaks for dinner when we were in Missouri last October, this rainbow appeared. The magnificent show of nature made a rainy vacation day feel worthwhile! I love this quote by Maya Angelou, a woman who really knew how to craft words!