I had one of those "hmm" conversations with a friend of mine today. The kind where you think you say what you mean but upon reflection you wonder if that's what was heard? Or did you say it right? Or was what you said even right at all?
We were discussing that fine line between building relationships, telling people what they want to hear (brown-nosing), and telling people no. Basically, nobody wants to hear 'no' but I was trying to explain there were tactful ways to tell someone no, while maintaining/building that relationship. What I didn't clarify in that conversation is that I didn't mean to brown-nose.
I had to give some thought to the difference between brown-nosing, telling someone what they want to hear versus holding a position, defending it but not offending anyone. I think the difference in these is the motive and the sincerity behind it. If we seek to deceive or save face or avoid confrontation, these are not sincerely motivated. If we can correct, redirect and try to get along with others while we do it, this is the best path. It's honest but kind. There are verses to support this. Here are just a few.
If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.
Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore
that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.
Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.
II Thessalonians 3:15
That last one is a tough one. I know one more than one occasion I have become upset or frustrated with someone and mentally saw them as being 'on the other side' or a someone against me. In truth, we are all just people and we have our own agendas. We often let those agendas get in the way of relationships and that is where the problems occur. If we can step back and focus on the relationship part first, I believe the agendas will fall into place much better.
Kind of off topic...but when you consider how happy candy makes people, maybe not! I'm big on surprising people and providing little somethin' somethin's when possible to make people smile.
I discovered Old Time Candy website this week and gave them a spin. LOVED them. They specialize in candies from across the decades (but they have your current favorites, too.) You know what's awesome about them? Well, there are several types of awesome, but one of their coolest features is you can handpick each piece of candy if you like and create your own special bundle. I did that this week...selecting about 130 different pieces of candy. I turned in the order on Monday evening...Tuesday morning it shipped...and today it arrived on site!
People were happy. The items were exactly what I wanted them to be. It was pretty awesome. I'll definitely be using them again. No.... I'm not affiliated with them and I don't get paid or anything for recommending them. They are just too cool not to share!
“Candy is nature's way of making up for Mondays." ~Unknown Author
I am all about having some peace! As a person who has struggled with anxiety, I am keenly interested in learning how to get and maintain peace and calm.
There are lots of little things I do that help me not aggravate or provoke anxious feelings (both mentally and physically). I'm a person who likes to take action so having something 'to do' about it is motivating. For me, certain things increase my anxiety so I don't participate in them: I don't watch the news everyday. I find nothing edifying about it. I watch my sugar intake. I am reducing my caffeine intake (work in progress!)
I do things to help foster peace, such as listen to relaxation tapes. (Here are two of my favorite free ones):
Excel at Life
Meditation Oasis - this one has free podcasts so you can take it with you
One of my newest favorite activities is to put on a relaxation recording and sit down with a notebook to write out the things I am thankful for - the amazing things God has done in my life. Paul encourages this activity:
8 Finally, [b]believers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable and worthy of respect, whatever is right and confirmed by God’s word, whatever is pure and wholesome, whatever is lovely and brings peace, whatever is admirable and of good repute; if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think continually on these things [center your mind on them, and implant them in your heart]. 9 The things which you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things [in daily life], and the God [who is the source] of peace and well-being will be with you. Philippians 4:8-9
Think on all the good things in your life - events, people, items - and reflect how God took the time to bless you. I like writing mine down - on a note card, in a journal, on a napkin. Look at what He has done and receive the peace that comes with knowing He has you.
I'm a writer... so that means I write a bunch. Blogs are just the pieces that never make it into the final cut.