Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him. – Psalm 34:8
When starting this 100 days of gratitude someone asked me about the items that I write down on my gratitude list. They can vary, but mainly I try to focus on good things that happened during my day. This is why I often write items on my list in the evening. I try to look back at my day and see what good things occurred.
It’s like a scavenger hunt. God sprinkles so many blessings in our day. But how many do we notice and how many do we miss? I fear that we miss a lot of those good things, simply because we are not looking for them.
Did God wake you up this morning? Did God get you to work safely? Did God help you complete a project you have been working on? Did God paint a beautiful sunrise? Did God give you eyes to see and ears to hear? Did you feel God’s peace when you prayed? Did God send a friend your way with a kind word? Did a stranger pay for your coffee? Did God remind you of an errand you needed to run? Did you stumble across a Bible verse that spoke to you today?
There are tons of blessings throughout our day that display the goodness of God. Some are big, and some are small. But they are there.
One day my husband told his son that he would change his oil in his car for him. Normally his son would’ve driven his car to our house. But on this particular occasion, my husband picked up his son’s car. However, the car was low on gas. It was so low that my husband didn’t want to turn the AC on, so he drove with the windows down. Because the windows were down, my husband could hear that the tires didn’t sound right. When he got to the gas station, he looked at the tires and confirmed they were in bad shape. Many people might chalk this up to coincidence. But I call this the goodness of God. All of these events happened just right.
In Psalm 34:8 we are reminded to taste and see that the Lord is good. Have you ever eaten something, but you didn’t really taste it? Your mind was elsewhere, so you weren’t necessarily paying attention to the taste of the food. When I read this verse I picture someone who is more like a connoisseur. They take the time to taste the different flavors and ingredients in their food or drink. They savor each bite or sip. And similarly we too should savor the goodness of God.
Today as you proceed through your day, look around for the goodness of God. You will be amazed at all of the blessings that appear.
But you also have to be open to the right perspective. One person might get annoyed that the sunrise is so bright. Meanwhile the person standing next to them might pull out their phone to take a picture. Let us be the latter, always looking for the goodness around us.
For further insight, I wanted to share a post written by Gail Johnson called Great Things. I love how Gail mentions “celebrating the goodness of God.” Such a beautiful thought! And isn’t that what gratitude is all about?
I also wanted to share one more thing. I absolutely love this song “Goodness of God” by Jenn Johnson. Some days I will just listen to this song over and over on my commute. Enjoy!
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas
Any time of day or night
With the Lord we meet
We find ourselves eager
For moments so sweet
He is ready to receive
The burdens we lift
Our time with God
What a precious gift
The Spirit greets us
And we feel peace
We never want
The feeling to cease
As we sit with Him
We feel His love flow
In God’s presence
Is where we grow
There is so much
He willingly gives
And we can give back
This one life we live
In the throne room
We have a place to hide
We linger there because
It is in Jesus we abide
Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. – Psalm 91:1 NLT
Last week we talked about how spending time with God helps our gratitude walk. Today I wanted to share a post regarding Spending Quiet Time With God, written by friend Alicia over at For His Purpose. She gives tips on how to begin your day with Jesus. And she provides further insight on how this time with the Lord satisfies a longing that we have within.
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas
Something that helps me tremendously when it comes to having a grateful heart is when I am consistent with spending time with God. If we start our mornings with the Lord, this will help set the tone for the day. When we read our Bibles and pray first thing, this truly helps start each day off on the right foot.
Spending time with God is powerful. There is power in His Holy Word, the Bible. And there
Is power in prayer. Any time spent with God helps usher in His supernatural power.
I have at times heard people complain that God has forgotten about them or doesn’t listen to them. But some of these same people don’t bother giving God any of their time until they want something from Him.
When we truly care about someone, we make an effort to strengthen that relationship. When we love something, we make it a priority in our lives. And so it should be with the Lord. We should treasure our time with Him. He shouldn’t neglect it or abuse it.
Our minds are going to be filled with something. We can decide what we will fill it with. If we don’t fill it with things of God, then it will be filled with things of the world. Thoughts of this world lead to complaining and dishonesty. Thoughts of God lead to gratitude and truth.
The more time we spend with God, the better we feel. We have more peace, joy, and gratitude in our hearts.
This is because when we spend time with the Lord, we are building a beautiful relationship. When we build that relationship, we are building our trust. And when we build our trust, we know that God is always there for us and we have nothing to fear. This, in turn, helps us to have more gratitude for all that the Lord has done for us.
On the other hand, the more grateful we are for all the blessing in our lives, the more trust we have in God because we see just how much He truly does care for us. When we take note of the gifts He bestows upon us, our hearts find an unexplainable peace.
So you see, God and gratitude go hand in hand, creating a comforting circle of love. Trust leads to gratitude and gratitude leads to trust.
If you don’t feel like spending time with God, then pray about it! Ask God to give you a desire for Him. Ask God to help you understand the Bible. Ask God to help you be a prayer warrior.
I pray we all cling to the Lord in these last few months of the year. I pray we all can find a new vision. I pray we all overflow with gratitude, joy, and peace.
Some Bible verses to meditate on:
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. – Psalm 119:105 NKJV
Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. – Mark 11:24 NKJV
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he… – Proverbs 23:7a NKJV
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2 NKJV
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 NKJV
Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. – Romans 8:5-6 NLT
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas
We think life should have been different
We expect things to go a certain way
But then the circumstances change
And we allow this to ruin our days
We hold on tightly to our plans
And this makes us feel distraught
But in the grand scheme of things
Perhaps we need to release our oughts
Some interruptions that come our way
Are divine blessings to embrace
Perhaps God put them in our path
As a gift of His goodness and grace
When we learn to trust God
Amidst many stops and starts
We finally begin to understand
He has our best interest at heart
Letting go of our rules and plans
We have a whole new attitude
Our stress level melts away
And we look at life with gratitude
One thing that trips me up when it comes to having an attitude of gratitude is when I am stressed and overwhelmed. That is when I find myself complaining a lot. My life has had a lot of that lately and I have been trying to dig deep to see why I get so anxious during those times.
A pattern I am seeing in my own life has to do with “interruptions.” These are small things in our day or large things in our lives that send us in a different direction. I see them as things that upset my “expectations,” even if these expectations are subconscious. Big or small, if things don’t go the way we planned or expect, it can ruin our attitude.
For example, perhaps your child forgot their lunch at home and you had to bring it to them at school. You didn’t plan for this, you didn’t expect this to happen, your day was interrupted, and it caused you stress. Or perhaps you expected to get a certain project accomplished on a particular day, but you were interrupted. You didn’t get to focus on what you wanted to focus on and had to change paths. You didn’t plan for this. And the new assignment brings more stress.
For me, these little things cause me to complain, especially if my stress level is already high.
What messes our life up most is the expectation of what our life is supposed to look like. – Ann Voskamp
(Yes, I realize I have mentioned Ann Voskamp three weeks in a row!)
I’ve been thinking about the stress, the interruptions and the expectations recently and I can see another layer as to why these things bother me. Let’s take the second example from above. Why am I so frustrated about having to change tasks? Because subconsciously I equate this to not being enough. I wasn’t able to accomplish what I set out to accomplish. I will complain about the change of plans, when truly, I just want to prove that I can do it all. And we have come around full circle because this points to perfectionism and our high expectations for ourselves. We think that if we were better, smarter, or more efficient, then we could do it all. But the truth is that none of us are enough. But God is! (I might write more on this concept in a future post?)
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in distresses, in persecutions, in difficulties, in behalf of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
And perhaps we have high expectations for other people too. Like the kid who forgot his lunch. It was an honest mistake (in all likelihood). Yet we allow it to rattle us.
Recently this is how I have felt a lot. Overwhelmed and stressed, with many things coming at me. I don’t have the time or ability to do everything. And I see how this directly impacts my attitude of gratitude. So I am trying to let my expectations go. I am trying to gracefully allow interruptions in my day. I am trying to remember that everything that comes into my life is not a surprise to God.
And maybe these interruptions in our days are divinely orchestrated. Do you remember one of the many survival stories we heard from September 11, 2001? There was a guy who was wearing a new pair of shoes that day, and they gave him a blister. I could imagine at the time many of us would have been frustrated because we were late for work. Well this guy had to stop for a Band-aid, and that ultimately saved his life. May this story help us to humbly embrace the unexpected things that come our way.
If minor inconveniences, interruptions, high expectations, or even the feeling of not enough tend to cause you stress and thus take away your joy, then I am with you. But I am learning to hand these things over to God. He is in full control. We are not. When we hold our plans loosely in our hands and allow Him to take the wheel, we will have so much more peace. And this will remove a roadblock on our path to gratitude.
Perhaps the examples in this post didn’t resonate with you, but you are having trouble embracing gratitude? If so, then you might have to take time to see what particular roadblocks are in your way. Prayerfully seek God’s guidance. It is possible to pave a new path and it is worth it.
For further insight, check out these posts:
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas
For those of you who missed last week’s post, I encouraged you to join a gratitude challenge. With the time remaining in 2021, write down at least 10 things that you are thankful for each day. Then at the end of the year, I bet you will feel happier and more blessed.
(Ironically, I later learned that September 21, the day of that post, was World Gratitude Day!)
Today I want to offer a few suggestions on how to make gratitude a habit. These are things that have helped me. I hope you can glean some insight out of them…
1 – Start your day with a thankful heart
When you wake up in the morning, thank God for a new day. Thank Him for waking you up. I know not everyone is a morning person. But even if you are tired and weary, you can still muster up a “thank you” because God allowed you to see a new day on this earth. And hand your day over to Him. Tell the Lord that you are choosing gratitude today. And you are choosing Him.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. – Psalm 143:8 NIV
2 – Don’t let the enemy steal your joy
We are faced with so many things throughout our day that cause us to complain. But I am convinced that in many cases, the enemy is trying to steal our joy. Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10 NIV) When the enemy tries to take your joy away, you can choose otherwise. Remind yourself that you will not fall for his tactics. Remind yourself that Jesus came to bring you a full life. Remind yourself that every day is a gift from God.
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. – Psalm 118:24 ESV
3 – Look for the good
Too often in our culture we are trained to see the negative in every situation and in every person. But as Christians, we have a supernatural power that can help us break this cycle. Let’s be radically different from those around us. Let’s look around for the good in people and the good in the circumstances we face. Let’s look for God’s goodness all around us. You can listen to all the motivational videos you want, but the truth is that being grateful starts with a decision. You get to choose how you will face every moment of every day.
If you search for good, you will find favor; but if you search for evil, it will find you! – Proverbs 11:27 NIV
4 – Find Your Strength in God
I am not naive and I do know that sometimes we will still face difficult moments. But in those moments we can choose to hold tightly to God. We can rely on His strength. We have nothing to fear when Almighty God is beside us. Reading your Bible and praying will strengthen your relationship with Him. Spending time with The Lord is vital. I have seen in my own life when I let these daily habits slide, I also feel much more negativity inside me.
The LORD is my light and my salvation— whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life— of whom shall I be afraid? – Psalm 27:1 NIV
5 – End your day with a grateful heart
Evening is often the time I write down the things I am thankful for. This is because I like to look back at my day and see all the good things that occurred. Even if I felt I had a “bad” day, I can find blessings from the Lord. If you don’t want to write down the gifts in your life, another option is to think about things you are grateful for as you drift off to sleep. And this will help to end your day on a peaceful note.
In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. – Psalm 4:8 NIV
These are things that have helped me to cultivate a thankful heart. Many of them boil down to our habits. We all will have an array of daily habits, no matter who we are. But we can choose to make them good ones and make them work in our favor. When you first start down this path, you might find yourself forgetting to make gratitude a habit. So you could post sticky notes or some other sort of reminders in different places as triggers. If you have any of your own tips on how to stay grateful, feel free to share in the comments.
And I also want to share some bonuses to help you find gratitude today…
1 – Poem by a fellow blogger
Last week Daryl Madden shared a moving poem when he reblogged my post. Please check it out here. I was so touched! This poem immediately went down on my gratitude list!
2 – A quote that will give you perspective
Last week I mentioned the book One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. Today I want to reference a quote from a different book of hers, The Greatest Gift. If you are complaining or feeling sorry for yourself, perhaps these words will help flip a switch.
“If you have any food in your fridge, any clothes in your closet, any small roof, rented or owned, over your head, you are richer than 75 percent of the world… If you have anything saved in the bank, any bills in your wallet, any spare change in a jar, you are one of the top 8 percent wealthiest people in the world… If you can read these words right now, you have a gift three billion people right now don’t. If your stomach isn’t twisted in hunger pangs, you have a gift that one billion people right now don’t. If you know Christ as the greatest Gift, you have a gift that untold millions of people right now don’t…”
I am praying for each of you throughout this journey. I hope we can all find a more positive outlook and wrap up 2021 with a grateful heart.
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas
There are 102 days left in 2021. As is often the case with time, this year has seemed to fly by quickly in some ways, yet also seemed to drag by slowly in other ways. When a year is wrapping up, I wonder if I have made the most of my time. Did I cultivate everything I set out to? Or did I waste precious time that I will never get back? No matter how your 2021 has looked, I would like to suggest a way for you to redeem the time that is left.
Nearly nine years ago I read a book called One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It is one of my all-time favorite books. In this book the author talks about gratitude and creating a list of “gifts” or blessings in our lives. (And there is much more to the book. It will truly make you ponder many things and will catapult change in your life. But I am keeping my description short for the purposes of this post.)
I admit that when I initially read the book, I was not able to remain consistent with gratitude. But four or so years later, I started a gratitude journal and have been fairly consistent ever since. In my gratitude journal (which is just a spiral notebook) I write down good things that happened during my day. But thanks to inspiration from Ann Voskamp’s book, I keep a running total. Between October 2017 and today I have recorded nearly 12,000 gifts.
Over the past few months, my life has been a little crazy. As a result, I wasn’t consistent with a few things that I normally value in my daily routine. One of those things was gratitude. And I have to say that I can absolutely tell the difference. Because I wasn’t focusing on good things, my mind often focused on my problems. As a result, my emotions have taken a dive too. I can now clearly see how important gratitude is for me. I have to keep this as part of my daily routine because it helps me to keep my mind and heart in the right direction.
So over the remainder of the time we have left in 2021, I want to challenge each of you to write down ten “gifts” (or ten things that you are grateful for) each day. If you start today and continue every day, you will have one thousand gifts by December 29. But this is so much more than a list. I would be willing to bet that by the end of the year, if you are consistent, you will also feel more peace and joy in your life. As you go about your day looking for good things to jot down, your heart will catch up and feel fuller than before.
Gratitude is a choice. And in my opinion, gratitude is something we need to set our hearts on each day. The results will be priceless. Instead of focusing our attention on the things we lack or on the problems we face, we will instead be focusing on all that we have. We will be amazed to see how many good things fill our days, even on days that were less than stellar. Looking for blessings in our lives can be an adventure, and I am excited to see how it unfolds. I hope you will join me.
Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. – 1 Thessalonians 5:18
Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings. – William Arthur Ward, writer
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas
A couple of weeks ago, in a prior post, I touched on the fact that when we are asked how we are doing, many of us say we are “good” even when it’s not really true. But I can think of two people who always give me a different answer.
I have a coworker who tells me that she is taking life one blessing at a time. I really love her outlook. She overflows with gratitude and joy. What an amazing way to greet each day. If we could wake up every morning and tell ourselves that we are living one blessing at a time, imagine how much that would transform the day.
While it’s true that life has its ups and downs, it is also true that we have many blessings in our lives. We have a roof over our heads, we have clothes on our backs, we have food to eat, we have family and friends, and so much more. I am preaching to myself when I say that we need to have a better perspective. Instead of focusing on our problems, we can choose to focus on our blessings. It takes effort to retrain our minds. But it is possible. And when we do, the results are greater than we can imagine. We will see that we have so much to be thankful for. We will see a loving God who is beside us and who cares for us. And we will feel contentment and peace as we face each day.
A guy at a local gas station also gives me a unique answer when I ask him how he is. His reply to me is, “Better than I deserve.” Wow! That response always gets me. And I realize that his answer is true for many of us. This helps me to remember the depth of God’s grace and mercy. We have so much, yet we deserve so little. As Christians, and thanks to Jesus, we are heirs of the Kingdom of God. But it is not by our own merit.
This attitude is similar to the one I first mentioned, as they both can help us to live a life of gratitude. When we humble ourselves and realize that we are not entitled (contrary to the mindset in today’s culture), we will walk each day with thanksgiving in our hearts for all that we have.
When we keep both of these perspectives in mind – living life one blessing at a time and doing better than we deserve – this can help us to view life differently. We can greet each day with a thankful heart. Our focus will become brighter and more optimistic. And each new morning will become an adventure.
LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure. – Psalm 16:5
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas
There is a Bible verse that stresses the importance of living at peace with other people.
Romans 12:18 says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”
I love the way this is worded. Often times when it comes to our interactions with other people, if they are hard to deal with, we just give up and walk away. We don’t want to be bothered, so we as humans are quick to cut ties and move on. But this verse will make us think twice. This verse shows us that we need to make every effort to live a life of peace. As far as it depends on us.
The words “as far as it depends on me” have been floating through my head a lot recently. And I began to think about how these words can impact different areas of our lives.
For one thing, our attitudes. Life can hand us some tough things that can leave us feeling bitter, worried, stressed, fearful, and many other negative emotions. But we have a choice. We can choose to stay optimistic and positive. We can choose to keep joy and peace in our hearts. As far as it depends on us.
Another area is our work. I love my job and what I do each day. But sometimes I have things on my plate that I feel inadequate to handle. Maybe you can relate? Or perhaps you have to deal with unfriendly coworkers? Or maybe you don’t work in the best conditions? We can still choose to make every effort to get the job done in a timely and efficient manner. As far it depend on us.
Another area is our health. We all know that we should eat healthy, exercise, take care of ourselves and so on. But do we do it? Most people are terrible in this area. It can be too hard to start a new diet or a new workout plan. We might take care of our loved ones well, but not ourselves. Again, we have a choice. We can attempt to take care of our bodies and our health. As far as it depends on us.
These are just a few examples. But we could also seek God in prayer and ask Him to show us areas of our lives that we can improve, as far as it depends on us. These seven words can drastically influence our lives in a positive way. We can choose how we approach the path ahead. We can approach so many things differently if we remember to make every effort to do our part.
As far as it depends on you. As far as it depends on me. As far as it depends on us.
Dear God, we want to be good stewards of this life you have given us. We are sorry that sometimes we feel discouraged and defeated. We know those feelings can hold us back from living our best life. So please help us to change any areas that we can. Help us to live each day for Your honor and glory. Please reveal to us areas that You would like for us to improve. Lay on our hearts areas where we can choose to approach differently. As far as it depends on us. Thank You. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas
Once upon a time, my husband and I put an offer on a house that we were interested in buying. Our offer was accepted and the “fun” began. Dealing with the mortgage company, ordering inspections, putting down a deposit, etc.
One of the inspections found that there was some old termite damage. We spoke to the owner and he confirmed that they had found termites at one time. But they had it treated and everything was fine. This initial discovery didn’t bother us. We felt confident the termites we gone at this point.
But the plot thickened. The original place where termite damage was pointed out was on an interior wall. However, on further investigation, it was discovered that there was also damage on the exterior side of the same wall.
Now this made the termite damage scarier. The little critters had eaten away at both sides of the same wall. And this left us with big questions – how much damage was within the wall? How much damage could there possibly be on the studs? How much damage was there in the space that we couldn’t see? There was no way of knowing without opening the wall. The damage should be fixed. But without knowing exactly how much damage there was, there was no way of knowing the cost of the repairs.
The damage that was found took an expert eye to discover it. Just glancing at the walls, I didn’t notice anything until it was pointed out. The walls looked fine initially. But thanks to a deeper inspection, we learned that there could potentially be structural issues.
This story reminds me that there are so many things in life that look good on the surface, but can be a completely different story underneath. Here are some examples:
1 – Sin
The devil has a way of making sin look so appealing. But we have to remind ourselves that although it will be pleasing to the flesh in that moment, there will be costly damages in the long run.
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. – James 4:7 NIV
2 – A Person’s Life
When greeting someone, it is common for us to ask, “How are you?” And so often the answer is, “Good.” But is it always try? Often, we don’t truly know what a person is going through. I am the type to say “good” even when I don’t mean it. Partly because I don’t like to complain and partly because I tend to stuff things down. So let us have compassion and remember that many of our acquaintances might be dealing with difficulties we know nothing about.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:32 NIV
3 – A Person’s Heart
We all take time each morning to bathe, brush our teeth, fix our hair, and so on. Before we walk out the door, we want to look our best. But how much time do we spend on prepping our hearts and our minds? Spending time with the Lord each day should be part of our routine. He will help us remove any unattractive qualities in our hearts.
But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
These are just a few examples. There are many things in life that we can say might appear quite different on the outside versus the inside. But this leads to a question – how can we navigate life when what we see on the surface might be completely different than what is hidden? Walking with the Holy Spirit helps us to have discernment. He will guide us along the rocky path of life. When we stay anchored to the Lord each day, we will not be led astray.
But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. – John 16:13 NIV
(In case you were wondering, my husband and I wound up backing out of the contract on that home. And we found another home that suited us better. We are thankful that the Lord helped guide us in that situation!)
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas
Do you ever feel like a ping pong ball? You go to one side of the table to handle a concern, but you are then slapped to the other side of the table. Back and forth you go, until mercy intercedes and you land on the floor.
This is how I felt recently, when trying to get my pets’ monthly prescriptions. I order them through a retailer, who contacts the veterinarian to make sure the dogs are up to date on vaccinations and such. Once approved, then they send the medications in the mail. This normally works out fine without an issue. So I will place the order and go about my business, expecting to receive the meds in the mail.
However, recently things didn’t go as planned. We received an email stating that the order was cancelled because the retail company was unable to contact the vet. I called the vet and they said they never received anything from the retailer. So I called the retailer to see what the issue was. They had all the correct information for the vet and had no idea why it didn’t go through. So while on the phone, we placed the order again.
This time I kept checking on the order and saw once again, via the retailer’s website, that they were unable to contact the vet. For two days I went back and forth between the vet and the retailer. The retailer wanted the vet to call them. The vet said they don’t normally do that and suggested the retailer try emailing instead of faxing. The retailer didn’t want to email them. They said they would keep trying to fax the vet every day. I explained that for weeks no fax made it through, so why did they think it would suddenly work. Finally in the end, the vet did call the retailer to “okay” the medications. I was thankful for the lady in the veterinary office who took time out of her busy day to do me a favor.
But this situation made me feel like a ping pong ball. In our world today, we might often feel like we are being stepped on. And good customer service can be hard to find. But when we do find good customer service, it amazes us. Or at least it does me. I am thankful when someone is nice, friendly, and helpful. But shouldn’t that be how we are treated, and how we treat others, all the time?
In a perfect world, yes. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Sometimes we feel stepped on. And sadly sometimes we step on others too.
So how can we handle these situations when they arise? Well I first want to talk about times when we might have stepped on others. I remember on one occasion when I was frustrated with some of the stress in my life. As a result, I had a “tone” when speaking to someone over the phone at the doctor’s office. Thankfully the Holy Spirit convicted me and I called back to apologize. The lady said she understood and we parted ways on good terms. So if you find yourself being short with someone, or stepping on someone, it is not too late to turn things around. We can always try our best to make things right. We can apologize and we can start over.
If you are like me, then more often you feel like you are being stepped on by other people. This can be tricky to navigate.
(Note: I realize that not all situations can end well. And I also realize there might be some people in our lives who are consistent when it comes to stepping on others. Creating boundaries in our lives would be the next step, if possible.)
I believe it is a good thing to speak up and let the other party know that they have bulldozed you. Some people don’t even realize that is how they come across. So this might come as a shock to them, and they might deny their actions. We can speak to them firmly, yet also kindly.
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. – Matthew 5:44
Ultimately, as Christians, we are called to walk with the love and peace of Jesus. That is what I attempted to do in the above situation when speaking to various people on the phone regarding my pets’ monthly medicine. And in the end, the situation was resolved peacefully.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. – Matthew 5:9
When we face difficult people, our flesh wants to rise and tell the person a thing or two. It is very tempting to do that, I know. But Jesus should be our example. He had many interactions with people who questioned and ridiculed His actions. Jesus always came up with a clever answer, but always proceeded with peace in love.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. – Matthew 5:38-40
We have the Holy Spirit living inside of us, so we do have the power to approach difficult circumstances in the same style of peace that Jesus did. Jesus is our anchor. Day by day, let us hold tightly to Him. And when difficulties arise, He will help us navigate them with love and peace.
© 2021 Bridget A. Thomas