Tuesday, October 18, 2016
What Mama Forgot To Tell Me-by Heidi McLaughlin
“Don’t use baby oil for sun tanning lotion.” Today as I scrutinize my face in the mirror, I wish my mother had warned me about all that ridiculous frying in the sun and the possibility of skin cancer. But how would my mamma know? She didn’t have the luxury of loafing in the sun; she was too busy tending the garden, ironing our clothes and canning vegetables for the cold winter months ahead. Thank God I don't have skin cancer but I wish mama had taken the time to share some practical truths.
I wish my mamma had taken the time to share some practical truths.
1. Marriage is hard work. Many parents think they are protecting their children by having heated disagreements behind closed doors. Guarding children from conflict and not modeling resolutions does not prepare them for future disputes and strife. Consequently, I did not know how to resolve conflict. In my first marriage I allowed my volatile emotions to dominate all disagreements which always ended in anger and unresolved power struggles. It was through God’s word that I learned to communicate with love rather than anger, followed by quick forgiveness. “Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others” (Colossians 3:13 NLT).
2. Don’t harbor resentment. Pasting a smile on my face when my heart is cut in half is a dangerous and toxic habit. Most of my life I thought I was being noble by “stuffing” hurt feelings. But apparently “stuffing” is not a fruit of the spirit. In fact, it builds resentment and is like drinking poison hoping the other person will die. Today I will not allow any resentment to creep into my heart. As soon as I recognize it, I confront it and do whatever it takes to release its grip on me. “The fool who provokes his family to anger and resentment will finally have nothing worthwhile left. He shall be the servant of a wiser man” (Proverbs 11:39 TLB).
3. Happiness in my choice. Oh the pain I could have avoided if had known that no one can provide my happiness. For years I looked to my husband, children, friends and extended family to make me feel happy and fulfilled. Through the painful and disappointing encounters I discovered that only God’s love and the enriching fruit of the Holy Spirit could fill the empty craving of my tender soul. I let my family off the hook and gave them incredible freedom when they no longer had to keep this mamma happy.
4. Don’t allow your feelings to rule your life. This one has been tough because I feel things deeply and react quickly. Through God’s spirit of “self control” I have discovered that in the midst of my impulsive or volatile feelings, I have the power to stop and make a wise choice to be kind, forgive or extend grace.
There are more. Invest your money on a consistent basis. Tell people you love them. Don’t sweat the small stuff. De-clutter your closet.
Contentment is learned.
Moving into the winter season makes me reflective but also passionately determined to live more like Christ. The fields are ripe for us to pour love and wisdom onto this generation that needs authentic, loving words to guide them through the minefields of this complicated life. There is not enough power and wisdom in 140 characters on twitter, quick text messages or intriguing posts on face book. As writers and speakers who influence the world, we must do more than model a nice, pleasing and fun filled life. We have to speak words of wisdom and be authentic and truthful in our encounters with those people God places in our lives. I believe that is what the “Lord of the Harvest needs us to do.”
Heidi McLaughlin lives in the beautiful vineyards of the Okanagan Valley in Kelowna, British Columbia. She is married to Pastor Jack and they have a wonderful, eclectic blended family of 5 children and 9 grandchildren. When Heidi is not working, she loves to curl up with a great book, or golf and laugh with her husband and special friends.
Her latest book RESTLESS FOR MORE: Fulfillment in Unexpected Places (Including a FREE downloadable Study Guide) is now available at Amazon.ca; Amazon.com, Goodreads.com or her website: www.heartconnection.ca
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