Tuesday, April 16, 2019

12 Ways to Love and Care for Extroverts

photo by giselafotografie

Either you are an extrovert, married to one, or have one as a best friend. I love extroverts. Their joy splashes on me, and helps me remain optimistic. I appreciate and enjoy them. Last week we talked about loving and caring for introverts. 
Today we're going to tackle 12 Ways to Love and Care for the extroverts in your life:

1.      RESPECT their need for INDEPENDENCE.

2.      COMPLIMENT them in PUBLIC.

3.      ACCEPT and ENCOURAGE their ZEST for life.

4.      Allow them to EXPLORE and DIALOG.

5.      SURPRISE them in non-embarrassing ways.

6.      Give them SPACE when they are busy.

7.      Let them hit the ground RUNNING.

8.      Give them CHOICES.

9.      LAUGH AT their jokes. Don’t try to hush them up.

photo by pezibear

10.  Show them AFFECTION, both physically and verbally.

11.  Rejoice with them when they SHINE.

12.  PRAISE every attempt at listening and calmness.
If you are an extrovert, I can hear your loud "amen!" 
If not, did you learn anything new that may help you love and care for the extroverts in your life?

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

12 Ways to Love and Care for An Introvert

My best friend, husband, and favorite introvert

Either you are an introvert, married to one, or have one as a best friend. I love introverts. They balance my zany, impulsive nature and bring me down to earth. I appreciate and admire them.

Here are 12 ways to love and care for the introverts in your life:

1.      RESPECT their privacy and need for alone time.

2.      NEVER reprimand them IN PUBLIC.

3.      Let them VIEW first in new situations, before requiring them to act.

4.      Allow them TIME TO THINK. Don’t demand quick answers.

5.      Don’t INTERRUPT them.

6.      Give them ADVANCE NOTICE of changes to their environment and lives.

7.      Give them 15 MINUTE WARNINGS to finish whatever they’re doing.

8.      Teach them new skills PRIVATELY.

9.      Enable them to find ONE BEST FRIEND who shares their interests.

10.  DON’T PUSH them to make many friends.

11.  RESPECT their quiet souls. Don’t try to make them EXTROVERTS.

12.  PRAISE every attempt at spontaneity and friendliness.
Next week, we'll talk about extroverts. That should be FUN!
If you are an introvert, which item(s) in the above list most resonated with you? If you are an extrovert, which items do you need to work  on?

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Why Should I Love Myself?

In case you've ever wondered, "Why Should I love myself?" my friend Beth Gormong and I wrote Hello, Beautiful! This interactive devotional journal for women contains 40 stories from Beth's and my own journey--not an easy one--to finally love ourselves just as we are. At the end of each chapter is a journaling prompt or a coloring page.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction:

Our parents and church leaders taught us when we were children that we could find the secret to fulfillment in the acrostic JOY (Jesus, others, yourself). If you put Jesus first, others next, and yourself last, your life would brim with happiness. In theory, this sounds like the humility and servanthood Jesus taught and practiced. Yet we’ve all known women who’ve put their husbands, children, and friends ahead of their own genuine need for value and love, only to end up mentally burned out, physically beaten up, or emotionally bruised.

There is a better way to a life of joy: love yourself.

Jesus told us in Luke 10:27 that one of the greatest commandments is to love your neighbor as yourself. The writers of Romans, Galatians, and James reiterate Jesus’s truth by telling us that if we love our neighbor as ourselves, we are fulfilling the law and doing right. (Romans 5:14, Galatians 13:9, James 2:8). So, the principle to love ourselves in order to love others comes from God’s Word.
Yet we see low self-esteem and even self-hatred around us every day. Women who can find something good to say about anyone but themselves. Women who mistakenly think they’re acting in sinful pride if they say, “I’m happy that I refused to gossip today when I had the opportunity.” Women who even starve themselves to look like the latest fashion model or to fit into a smaller size of pants. Women beaten down by society—and even by well-meaning but mistaken church leaders—that they like very little about themselves.

That’s why we wrote 
this book.
We want to see women take Jesus’s words seriously enough that they are set free from erroneously thinking they are never good enough, that they must be perfect to be loved, and that skinny equals pretty. We want to help women break free of faulty teaching and bask in the reality of God’s high esteem and deep love for them. To love themselves without guilt or shame. If women catch the Master’s meaning of true love—starting with themselves—as precious ones made in God’s image, they’ll hold their heads up high. The gleam in their eyes will reflect the love they’ve willingly received from God. And there will be no end to what they can achieve to make this world a lovelier place.
Because once women realize a truth and act on it, no power on earth or in hell can stop them.

Are you ready to start an adventure that will shake up the old ideas you’ve had about how God sees you and how you should see yourself? Are you ready to find out how greatly you are valued by your heavenly Father? Are you brave enough to learn that you’re allowed to finally look in the mirror and say—regardless of your size, shape, or social standing—“Hello,Beautiful!”?

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Why Does God Take So Long?

image by gerait
Did you ever wonder why God takes so long to answer some of your prayers, while others—mighty few, if you ask me—get answers right away? Me too. 
            According Psalm 138:3, the Lord answered David on the very day he called. “On the day I called, you answered me, you increased my strength of soul” Psalm 138:3 (NRSV).

God’s answer was to increase David’s boldness and strengthen his soul. He didn’t immediately rescue David from his enemies, but the fresh courage he gave David provided an answer in itself. God took away David’s fears so that he could confidently say, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.” 

I always want God to fix every problem in my or my loved one’s lives immediately.Heal the disease right now—no more pain or suffering, please. Open a door for a new job today—no more living from paycheck to paycheck, barely making ends meet. Fix the relationships that are broken this minute—make us understand and accept each other and act like adults.

            He rarely comes through that fast. I often say to myself or others, “Why does God take so long?” I generally have to stand fast in faith for days, weeks, even years before I see the changes I want. 

            But he does answer me on the day I call. By offering me his supernatural courage and strength, He makes me bold. He causes me to stand up on the inside, rather than crumpling in defeat. I know he loves me. I know he listens when I call. That assurance gives me the confidence I need to say, with David, “The Lord will fulfill his purpose for me.”

image by Alexas fotos
            Father, please increase your strength in my soul. Help me believe you’re at work even when it doesn’t look like circumstances are changing for the better. In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

Are you standing in faith for something today that makes you wonder, "Why does God take so long?"  How can I agree in prayer with you?

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Why Random Thoughts? God's way of shouting "Surprise!"

Randomness intrigues me. I believe it’s God’s way of jumping from behind a bush and shouting “surprise!” with a fresh idea. Here are a few random thoughts for a lovely Spring day:

• Ever since we took a trip to Colorado, I’ve been disappointed in the almost-blue sky of Illinois. The sky in CO. is azure, brilliant, striking. Ours looks anemic in comparison to this azure expanse in the Rocky Mountains. Is it the difference in altitude, or what?

• I think the ideal age for a kid is five. They can communicate with you, can feed themselves, even do a few chores. Yet they still possess a fresh innocence from God that makes them say clever and cute things you want to write down. Do you have any kids in your life? Any five-year-olds? May I borrow them?

• I love gazing at trees as they clap their hands to the Lord. Never embarrassed at the thought of someone watching them—they simply delight in the gift of saying, “Thanks” to God for life and sunshine. May I be more tree-like in my worship.

Do you like random thoughts? Will you share one today, please?