Thursday, September 11, 2014

In a Daze

Life has been so crazy that I just realized I hadn't blogged for at least a week or so!  Wow, I didn't know how busy I have been with home school starting, youngest son's 2nd birthday coming tomorrow,  friends coming to stay a few days, Thomas the Train event, church visiting & just normal daily chores.

That's when I understood how easily we can do that to actual friends so easily.  We get so caught up in "our thing" that we don't even pay attention to what is going on not only with those we call friends but just people in general around us.  We have so much to do, so little time & all the "social media" or "gaming" things to do, we forget that there are actual real people that want to know us.  There are friends we haven't seen in months that wonder how we are doing.  There are church events we avoid because we don't want to get to know any new people because we either have "enough" friends or are too scared from past rejection with being the "new person" we just don't have any desire to make new friends.

I am shocked at my own aversion over the past year at wanting to meet new people.  I think it stems from being at home & having so many people paint this picture in their mind as to what you are like before they even take time to know you.  I notice many people at the church we used to go to did that, especially in the group I was volunteering with to help.  Its like we not only put our religion in a box that even God Himself cannot break through, we put other people in boxes before we even take time to see who is inside--the parts that make someone interesting & unique. So many times I've been the new person with people all around me never noticing how out of place I felt.  I've been on that side too....of being around people but not actually being a part of what is going on--feeling very left out & alone.  I've been there too many times & its left me jaded about friend making.  I willingly admit that to help others realize: if you are so busy with your "groupies" of friends that you never notice someone new (or long time being there) alone, you are too involved as a group of friends.  I would & will always make room for those people in my life because I know how that feels way too often.  I wondered why people seemingly "forget" the person alone in a crowd or act (maybe even flat out tell others) they have no time for new friends.  Why do we do these things?  Is it we are only keeping familiar faces & thoughts in our minds because its comfortable in our little world?


Let's face it, many of us want cookie-cutter friends that act like those people we see on sitcoms.  We want those predictable TV relationships because its what we have been taught to believe is normal.   We see it acted out day after day, show after show.....and we wonder why we don't have any deep feeling for anyone or strong relationships.  We are going about this wrong.  We are so focused on what we get out of a relationship that we get ourselves stuck in a rut of self-serving.  We are constantly on social media thinking we are connecting with people when we are not.

If your family does this:

 You are going about it wrong (sorry to offend, but let's be honest, we know this is true).  This isn't actual time with your family, its time doing what you want to do while being in the same room with your family....and that is something that does not develop relationships.  In fact, it stagnates them & makes the relationship unappealing after a time because it becomes stale.

Another example of what our culture deems as "going out".

If  your outing with friends is filled mostly with this going on:

You aren't really connecting with the people there.  Are you?  You aren't talking or looking at each other, you are "together" but not spending time together.  Is that really a relationship or just a larger, yet shallow pool of acquaintances that know more than they should about you.

Relationships take time....quality time talking about more than the weather,who you like, what your wore or where you went yesterday--going through the best & worst of times with them, talking about tough things & debating topics that challenge you as a person. Maybe even see some of the best & worst of each other along the way, choosing to accept them for their good & bad, yet also knowing when to encourage someone to grow.  We don't know how to do this because we are all too self-focused on what we have to do, where we are going, what matters most to us, & what we are getting out of a relationship.  Christ was never this way....He was other's focused, He gave of Himself without any remorse or selfishness--He chose to give out of love from God, not human emotion.

Now, I don't mean He didn't take time to be by Himself to "recharge".  Even God in the flesh needed some breathing space and we do need to take time for ourselves.  If you are finding you are doing things more for you than others ( and trust me, children & husband count as doing things for others, mommy), then you have some focus issues.  If you are taking so much time to give to others because its "what you are supposed to do," you are doing out of duty & not out of God's love. We need to look at how we can help others, but there is a catch.

We can't do things for others if we aren't looking to do for God first.  We need to seek Him & what He wants first based on what we learn from spending time in the Bible reading what it has to say....the doing things for others will then come naturally out of loving God rather than an obligation we will drop when life get's hard.   Commitment comes from the love God gives to us & what we want to live out from because human love is frail & wanes.  You can count on God's love to urge you to help & also bring you joy when you take time to care for someone else.

So, a challenge for us all until I write again: Take some time to really pray, ask for answers & read what the Bible says about loving & helping others, about seeking Him first...what love is really about & how you can bring more of God's love into your life to overflow into others' lives too!