It’s already Monday again?! Time is flying. Fast. Seriously, can I have a “free” day so I can catch up? We actually did get caught up on a few things around here yesterday, thanks to the rain showers postponing our plans to go to the zoo. It actually would have worked out to go to the zoo in the late afternoon, but by that time were content to hang out together at home doing chores.
Life is good when you enjoy doing housework with your family. Nathan has always been helpful around the house with things here and there, but now that I’m also working, we are definitely sharing the load. And we let our little pumpkin in on the fun, too; nobody wants to be left out! Judah loves “sweeping” and dusting and throwing stuff in the garbage. The last one needs a little work…notice I didn’t say that he likes throwing “trash” in the garbage. I said “stuff”. All sorts of “stuff”. We’re only in trouble if we don’t close the pantry door completely. And I’m notorious for closing NOTHING completely, so I’m sure it’s usually my fault. But I digress.
This past week was weird. I had friends on top of the world and friends at the lowest points of their lives. We had some ups and downs in the health of precious loved ones. We had some lame parenting days and some great parenting days (toddlerhood, anyone?). Nothing was even keel this week. Everyone and everything was all over the board. I’m thankful that life isn’t blah all the time, but a week of roller-coaster days is wearing!
All this got me thinking about one of the best life lessons I’ve ever learned; never EVER take anything or anyone for face value. I don’t mean that in the sense that people sometimes use this cliche to warn against trusting others.
What I mean is this: there’s always something deeper going on in people than we realize most of the time. Probably all of the time. And unless you’re one of the privileged few another person lets in to see what’s really going on behind the scenes, it’s difficult to keep this in mind.
Think of all the people who irritate you to no end, make you want to pull your hair out and rub you completely the wrong way. Think of the people who constantly “ask” for attention and applause one way or another. Think of the people who walk around with such a chip on their shoulder you dream of ways you might be able to knock it off there. All the underlying things of life may be hidden by a person’s ability to mask it, but the fruit of it is still there.
When I’m having a hard time with a person, even if it’s more internal than external, it always does me a lot of good to figure out what in the world it is that’s bugging me about them. Then I do a lot of thinking about it. I will say that more often than not, this helps me to change my attitude towards them, which then also changes my actions towards them because it forces me to think about what may be causing them to act a certain way.
For instance, if someone is constantly drawing a lot of attention to themselves, maybe they need a little encouragement. A little or a lot of life spoken to them. What does it cost me to give that? Very little, except maybe a little pride. Everyone wins when someone gets down off their high horse and gives another person something they desperately need.
A little bit of grace goes a long way in the peacemaking process, as well as with those personalities we seem to consistently clash with. This week I’m motivated once more by the realization that I should never take anyone for face value because there’s always something deeper going on in them than what I know.