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Posts Tagged ‘irritation’

img_1315For the last three plus years I have surrounded myself with kids. I’ve always enjoyed children, especially my own, but sometimes a few could really get on my nerves. Honest confession: I like kids who behave. But as I’ve grown older, I think I have more grace than when my own children were younger.

Quite a few years ago, when I helped out in a kids’ ministry to 4th-6th graders, I’d get exasperated with the kiddos who enjoyed causing turmoil. I think they felt it was their calling in life. “Let’s get Kris to lose her temper.”  And each Wednesday night, I left irritated. Now I know the Bible says to love everyone, but these little ones got on my very last nerve every week. So much for showing the love to Jesus to the world, right?

img_2090Then came a seven year hiatus, when I basically had no ministry responsibilities. I spent a lot of alone time with Jesus. Through a series of events, I felt a mindset shift in many areas. I made intentional choices to get healthy, ready my Bible, lose weight, reconnect with friends and family, take up running, explore new adventures. Somewhere in the course of that time, I fell in love with kids again…even those that used to irritate me. Of course, I don’t have involvement with those same kids from way back, but I still encounter children whose sole purpose in life is to disrupt whatever environment they are in. They’re really good at it too. But God has given me a supernatural love for them. No way could this be on my own. And on top of that, I love all the other ones too. The ones who are wild and crazy, the one whose smile lights a room, and the ones who are shy and reserved.

img_1567Every child needs to know they are valued and loved, no matter their behavior. The world they live in is turbulent and scary so I want to be a safe place for each one. A place they can go for encouragement, a hug, a prayer, maybe even a little face-to-face “what ARE you doing?” if necessary. I want them to see Jesus in all that I say and do. Occasionally I get in someone’s face to confront behavior that is unacceptable (cheating, lying, bullying are non-negotiables), but mostly I want them to really know they are loved…by me and most importantly, by God. I still make mistakes…many times. But I’m relying on the grace and mercy of God. He loves those kids more than I do!

I am blessed to be a part of the kids’ ministry at our church. We have preschool through high school as part of our Wednesday night program. This week is our last JAM (Jesus and Me) of the school year and though I’m tired, I’m sad too. Once the program is finished, I may not see some of these kids again until September, or maybe not at all.  We have such a small window of time and opportunity…make it a count. These kids are worth it!

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Golly, it’s so easy to get bent out of shape about stuff, isn’t it?

The line is too long at Walmart but you don’t want to use the self-check because those machines are just taking somebody’s job. Can you believe that mom with all those kids? Can’t she make them behave? I only have 3 items…how long will this take?

The traffic is crazy, people passing you right and left on the interstate, flying by at 80 mph…but really, lady, you have to go the speed limit? You’re holding up the rest of us. You know, it’s the ones going slow that cause the accidents.

Really? No coffee made again? I think I’ve made the last 5 pots of coffee and every time I come to get a cup, we’re out. Doesn’t anyone have some courtesy around here?

I hope you’ve noticed the sarcasm. What gets us bent sideways is usually whatever someone else is doing that irritates us. Someone going faster than we are? Evil. Someone going slower than us? Stupid. Someone didn’t fit into our box for “appropriate behavior?” Have you noticed that rarely do we see ourselves at fault…it’s always someone else. THEY did or didn’t do something I thought they should.

My Wednesday wisdom for you (and oh so much for me!) – take a chill pill. Take a breath – relax – try to see a bigger picture. God is in control. Try to see Him at work in your life’s circumstances. Long lines? Pray for the person in front of you or better yet, that poor cashier. Traffic crazy? Pray for safety for those on the road. Coffee not made? Be thankful you work in a place that provides free coffee. Rest in the knowledge that all of this is God’s plan to move you into who He wants you to be…stay mindful of His working in every detail of your life.

My own motto today:

KRIS, IT ISN’T ALL ABOUT YOU!

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