What I Learned from Misplacing My Computer

All of us deal with failure at some point or other. Some failures are more embarrassing than others, but all seem to have something we can learn from them.

You’re not going to believe this, but – I lost my computer! Yes, I know it’s here somewhere, but, you see, the house looks like a bomb went off! My men went to get our things from storage in another state, and everything ended up all. over. the house!

Our big goal yesterday was to offload the truck, and then get everything out of the cardboard boxes by nightfall so we wouldn’t be invaded by roaches. It worked! But – we didn’t have much time to put things away, and so everything we own is strewn around the house!

I wasn’t expecting such a disaster. And I certainly wasn’t expecting to MISPLACE my computer!! (How in the world does THAT happen??!!)

Well, when life gives you lemons, as the saying goes…make lemonade! Usually I use my blog template and my planned posts to prepare the next post, but…they’re all on my computer! So today I’m writing on my IPad, just from the heart.

That’s ok, right? We can do that sometimes, I suppose.

Here are some things I’ve learned through this time of computerlessness:

  • Always make plans, but expect your plans to be changed, at least somewhat. I had planned on spending the next few days organizing my stuff, in addition to preparing this post, etc. But I hadn’t planned on the complete disarray that occurred when all the stuff got pulled out of boxes! It basically turned my life upside down for awhile.
  • Don’t blame others for the unexpected. Sometimes I get the raw deal of someone else’s lack of planning, but blaming them doesn’t help the situation – it only makes it worse. (In this case, that didn’t happen, thankfully!) If I experience a lot of pressure because someone failed to plan, then I try to go ahead and make things work, and afterwards talk to the person and express to them the difficulties I experienced – rationally!
  • Along the same lines, I must be careful not to beat myself up over failures. Failures are important opportunities to ask some vital questions and discover what went wrong, but they’re bad times to tell myself how awful I am. The Devil loves nothing more than to get a child of God to think either more highly or more lowly of themselves than they ought. Try to be completely honest with yourself, and give yourself some room to grow.
  • If you have a choice between being with your hubby and getting something done, choose to be with your hubby. In this case, my hubby was away for about 4 days, so I wasn’t about to keep working to organize late into the night when I hadn’t spent time with My Beloved in awhile! I’ve been faced with that choice many times, however, and I try to choose the person above the project. Investing in relationships is a million times better (and lots more fun!) than just “getting something done.”
  • Make the most out of the change. Try to reflect about what you can learn from the situation, and how you can prevent it from happening again. In addition, you can take advantage of the change and do something completely different and unexpected – like this post – and share what you’ve learned with others, so that others can grow as well.

Well, if I’ve learned nothing else, I’ve learned that I need to keep better track of my own possessions!! 😉

Question: What have you learned from your failures? Have you ever lost something important to you, and had to make some serious adjustments for it?

Some additional reading:
Here’s an excellent article about Learning from our Mistakes at Daily in the Word.

Special Announcements:

  • I have many people who follow along on my Facebook page for daily encouragements, reminders, and exciting assignments! It’s a great group of folks – come join us!

  • Keep your eyes out for the upcoming release of my new book on this topic, Lionproof: Keeping Your Children from the Claws of the Devil, coming in September! In this book, there will be:
    • Not just information telling parents why kids are going astray, but proven parenting practices that have worked for generations that are successful in raising godly children.
    • Dozens of interviews from those 2nd generation Christians who KNOW what their parents did RIGHT.
    • Charts and graphs detailing the results of the interviews
    • Assignments to help the reader implement these principles in their own parenting.
    • And much, much more!

If you have a blog and would like a review copy of the book, let me know! All you have to do when you’re done reading it is to post about it on your blog! Leave a comment here or email me, and I’ll get in touch with you. Linking up with: Monday: Alabaster Jar, The Better Mom, and Moms the Word, and Happy Wives Club Tuesday: Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife, Messy Marriage Wednesday: To Love Honor and Vacuum

Smile, and Give Your Face a Rest!

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I have no idea what causes it, but sometimes something happens that makes a day go sour. Maybe we got up on the wrong side of the bed (how can you do that when your bed is against the wall??) or we didn’t get enough sleep, or perhaps it’s hormones – ah, yes, those toothy monsters that run around inside our bodies causing every imaginable emotion – but we crab at the kids, kick the cat, and growl at hubby. Before we know it, everyone is in on the act.

Junior pushes the baby down and Chloe cries because she can’t seem to color in the lines. Everyone is all out of sorts and nothing seems to be going right! How can the family get out of such a rut? Is there any way to remedy this horrible situation? Ah, yes! There is a cure: Laughter! And, more specifically, Mom’s Laughter!

My mother, bless her heart, was never very coordinated. Because of vision problems, she didn’t learn to walk until she was 2, so grace was not one of her strong points. It was not uncommon for her to trip and spill the milk, knock over a glass of Kool-Aid (horrors!!) or simply run into something. I clearly remember her dumping a glass of something-or-other, and laughing, saying, “Well, that was good, June! What’s going to be your next number?” as though she had just successfully completed a difficult dance move. Then she would continue to chuckle and clean up the mess.

She saw humor in a fairly hopeless situation.

How can we an Awful Day into a Great Day? Here are some good ideas:

1. Smile – There’s a saying that goes, “Fake it till you make it!” That especially applies to smiling! If you greet your kiddos with smiles every day, it’s amazing how nice the day starts. So even if you don’t feel like it, Smile! Soon you will feel like it.

2. Sing – God wants to hear our praise – yes, He DESERVES our praise – any time, but especially when times are tough. Can we sing in the valleys? It may be tough, but if it were easy, everyone would do it. I’ve sung in the shower with tears streaming down my face, and do you know what? When I get out, I’m still singing…and smiling.

3. Read/listen to the Psalms – My husband has a saying, “There is balm in the Psalms.” There is a soothing, healing salve in the Word of God. Many of us have not just one copy, but many copies of the Word of God. At the first sign of trouble, we can just stop and open up our Bibles and read for just a few minutes. And if we’re too busy to read, we can always listen to the Bible online. The Gloomies cannot long withstand an onslaught of the Word of God.

4. Rise 15 minutes earlier than the rest of the family – To me, this is a HUGE key to starting the day off right. It’s not easy, but to just give yourself 15 minutes to wipe the sleepies out of your eyes and enjoy a little bit of time to merely use the bathroom uninterrupted is wonderful! If you can do nothing else, try getting up just 15 minutes before everyone else. It will jump start your day and put a spring in your step.

5. “Swallow your frog 1st thing in the morning” – Mark Twain once said,
“Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.” If we find the most distasteful thing that we need to do, and do it first off, it will make the rest of the day easier! For some of us, it may be cleaning or decluttering, some may despise yard work, and others may hate meal planning. Tackle that despised item first thing in the morning, and the whole day will be better.

6. Stop and drink some water or get a little snack – It’s amazing how we are inextricably tied to our bodies! If we’re low on fuel (food,) we’ll get grumpy. For me, sometimes the best thing I can do is stop and get a little snack. That keeps me from strangling my little ones mid-morning!

Next time your tempted to kick the dog, bark at the cat, and growl at the kids, try one of these suggestions. You may find yourself laughing before long!

Your Assignment? Do you remember how you used to stand in front of the mirror and make faces at yourself when you were little? Well, go to the mirror and SMILE! See how much better you look? It even makes the bags under your eyes go away…kinda. 😀 Practice smiling, even when no one’s watching!

If you’re brave, take a minute to tell me how it’s going!

Linking up with: Monday:
Alabaster Jar,
The Better Mom,
Raising Arrows
What Joy is MineWhatjoyismine.com

Tuesday:
Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife

Wednesday:
To Love Honor and Vacuum

Bad Attitude = Bad Life

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Right now I’m sitting in a hospital waiting room, while my husband has a cardiac ultrasound. He’s been in the hospital since Saturday night, when I brought him in because of pain in the chest. Lord willing, he will have a clear bill of health and be able to come home tonight! For those of you who have been praying for us, THANK YOU!

Meanwhile, I write this in the ER waiting room, so if it reads a bit choppy, that’s why!

I’ve had a multitude of responses to my many pregnancies over the years. Of course, the larger my family got, the more stares and jaw-dropping my round figure elicited. Folks were surprised and some were shocked, but after meeting my children, almost all of them said, “I wish I had more.”

Except once.

I was going through the checkout one time when I was pregnant with my 6th child, and I (of course) had #1-5 with me in line. The cashier took in my family in one quick glance and said, “I wish I had never had any kids. I had 5 of ’em, and it was **** the whole time. I hate them!” It was my turn for my jaw to drop! I couldn’t believe it!

When I left the store, I couldn’t help but feel terrible for that woman. She could not have been happy when she was younger, and she sure wasn’t happy now. How awful her life must have been.

Since then, I’ve been through a few valleys (like hospital waiting rooms!) and on some mountaintops, and I’ve had my share of heartache, but deep down, I’ve always had joy.

Last month, we looked at how we can improve our marriages. If you missed any of the posts, you can find them here. And on Facebook there was a lot more discussion and some additional ideas.

But for the next month, I’d like to examine Joyful Motherhood, and see if we can find greater fulfillment in our lives as mothers.

To become a joyful mother, we first need to understand what the purpose of motherhood is.

As women, we have the unique opportunity to actually bring a new life into this world. Think of it! That God would use us to add another soul to this earth is incredible.

But being a woman, and more specifically, being a mother, is more than that. It is the dramatic opportunity to shape that soul and to make him useful to God and to others. The saying “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world” is still true today.

Every king, prince, or president has been taught and trained by a woman. Every athlete, writer, or doctor has been shown love and life by a woman. Every preacher, entrepreneur, or manager has been inspired by a woman. That woman is mother.

Our purpose as mothers is to train up children for the glory of God. Often we tend to have this backwards, and we want to have children for ourselves. When we have children for selfish reasons, there is no fulfillment, because we cannot find fulfillment in selfish pursuits.

As I walked away from the store with the unhappy cashier, I realized that she had had her children out of selfishness. Perhaps she just got pregnant accidentally, or maybe she wanted to have children to show off to others. Whatever her reason (or neglect of a reason,) she ended up hating her children, and ultimately, her life.

Being a mother has the potential to bring much joy…or much misery. It depends on our attitude.

Attitude check! Take a few minutes to write down three things that you love about being a mother! If you feel brave, share them with us here!

Linking up with: Monday:
Alabaster Jar,
The Better Mom,
Raising Arrows
What Joy is MineWhatjoyismine.com

Tuesday:
Titus Two Tuesdays, Mercy Ink Blog, The TimeWarp Wife

Wednesday:
To Love Honor and Vacuum