Monday, June 23, 2014

Cloudy days - Cloudy mind

Recently, we had storms in Michigan. The picture below does not show how dark the lingering clouds actually were. What I like is that there is an obvious distinction of where the clouds stop. You can see a light ahead. It is an excellent visual of what depression feels like. Like clouds, depression can dissipate. Unlike clouds, sometimes it takes more than just waiting for it to pass.

It is incredibly difficult to watch someone head under the clouds. When all they see are clouds. Dark ones.

For the days that may be more than just days. When you don't see the road going anywhere. When you don't see the light ahead. When your mind feels cloudy and rainy and just generally yucky. For the days when you realize that you may need more help. When you need to reach out, but don't feel like you can. May you know that there are friends and family waiting along the sidelines to bring you into the light. May you know that there is a God that loves you through anything.....especially the darkest days.

Isaiah 40:30-31 (NIV) Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Saturday, June 07, 2014

Don't "DIS"miss....discuss.....

I like to play with words. Sometimes because English is SO confusing. Sometimes because I'm kind of nerdy like that, but Hey! worked for Dr. Seuss! :)

I remember hearing the phrase, "Don't diss me". Usually this was used as a way of saying don't be disrespectful.  Recently, I was thinking of the way that using the prefix dis really changes the whole meaning of a word. In fact, in most of the ways I can think of, using the word dis makes the word become more negative.

I had a list kind of going in my head, but I admit I "googled" to find some examples. There were more than I had thought of. A few examples:
Read right side first:

If you focus on the list on the right, the words seem pretty positive. Go back and read them again though putting dis in front of the word. Discouraging!

One of my favorite things to harp on lately seems to be communication. This does not mean I am good at it. I can knock out a piece of to me and I feel like I trip on my tongue. Call me on the phone. I may not answer. Some people are excellent talkers and not so great at writing. Sometimes communication just seems to come to a halt. To keep with the dis theme here, DISCUSS. Whatever way you have to do it. Blogpost, whiteboard, text, letter, over coffee. Find a way that works and use it! (Just try not to do it when frustrated when it is WAY to easy to say things we don't mean and turn things into a disaster)

In our lives and in our communication, we can be encouraging or discouraging. I know which one I want to others and myself. However, too often I find words of discouragement creeping in. Do your best to find a way to keep it positive and to be empathetic realizing that the person you are dealing with might be having a really disgusting day and creating a disgusting mood. Do your best to see past that and find the real reason for the attitude. (ESPECIALLY with teens.....and don't take it personally) At my house, usually I disregard (!) the first few things out of my loved ones mouths....especially if it involves mornings!

Be blessed. Be a blessing. Find a way to take care of yourself so you can take care of the others that come across your path. A little kindness goes the distance. :)

Class dismissed....for now. ;)

Job 4 (NIV)
4 Your words have supported those who stumbled;
you have strengthened faltering knees.
5 But now trouble comes to you, and you are discouraged;
it strikes you, and you are dismayed.

Proverbs 17:27-28 (NIV)
27 The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. 28 Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent, and discerning if they hold their tongues.