The 7-Day Challenge I presented to you last week is now complete. I hope that you take a moment and reflect...How did you do???
I've got to be completely honest with you. Here I am, the one that presented the challenge, and I feel as though there were days I did not give it my 100%. There were days I took more of an easy route. There was one day that I completely derailed. If you are like me on this, I want to tell you, IT IS OKAY! We are all human and as humans, we are not perfect. Sometimes we fall. The point is, did you realize this and try to do better???
As I reflect on the past week, I realize that today, a day after the challenge was over, I found myself in two different situations where I was able to show compassion, kindness, gentleness, and love all at once. God is always present and if we are mindful of HIS presence, He will make His presence known! (Did that make sense?) What I am trying to say is, if we keep God in the fore-front of our day, keeping in mind that He is always with us, then those 7 attributes I have listed above will always be on our heart to share with others.
As a middle school teacher, I have the opportunity to show compassion, kindness, patience, love, gentleness, and even humility and forgiveness on an almost daily basis. But what about outside of my ordinary day? That's why I said I took the easy way a couple times, because I don't think I went out of my way on two of the days to do anything more. I didn't feel I even had more to give. However, then I realize that I come home to a family that I give those words (AND ACTIONS) to.
One day I had to show forgiveness to MYSELF! I was so angry, overwhelmed, over-committed, stressed, and behind schedule that I began lashing out on the people that love me the most. I had my mom and sister helping me promote my coaching business at a local wedding show, and during set up I realized I forgot some important papers in my office, the next town over. I left my mom and my sister to continue setting up (not in a nice way did I leave, I must add) and called my husband on my drive to my office. He listened to my rant. Then I got off the phone abruptly and he soon texted me and told me that God was with me, to not worry about anything. In that very moment, my own 7 day challenge came to me and I thought, "There are times we must show love and compassion and forgivness to our own self." I took a moment when I got to my office to pray. To thank God for my mom, sister, and husband. For the opportunity to serve Him at the Wedding Show that day. And to ask Him for forgiveness for my bad behavior and bad thoughts.
1 John 1:9 says, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
I also completely derailed one of the days. A person who is constantly a thorn in my side did something manipulative and very unkind towards me and another person. I was SO MAD. Not angry, but MAD MAD MAD!!!! While I was ready this week to do some forgiving towards this person and try to repair even a small crack in a crumbled and ruined relationship, BOOM! Just like that I said "Forget it! This person is horrible and doesn't deserve anything nice from me!" See...derailed. That is absolutely THE OPPOSITE of what I was challenging all of you with this past week. I do not like to be filled with such anger and feelings of hate. That is a sin, and I was disappointed in myself that I allowed
myself to fall to such sinfulness.
1 John 2:9 says, "Whoever says he is in the light and hates his brother is still in darkness."
Wow, that is powerful to me. I feel I have come such a long way in my walk with Christ and I no longer want to feel that hate, or be in that darkness. So, I did what I hope all of you would do. I prayed. I asked God to guide me, to give me strength, to help me show grace. As a result, I ended up stronger, happier, less fearful, more focused, and full of confidence because I was able to just LET IT GO. God uses each one of us to somehow work in others. And really, no matter how much people hurt us, I do believe at the end of the day we should always forgive and love them.
In fact, as I continue to reflect on the past week, putting it all together as I did today, I feel more at peace. Lighter even. I feel more loved, therefore, more able to give love.
What are your thoughts? How do you feel after doing the 7-Day Live Better-Be Better Challenge? Do you feel that you ARE better? I am really interested in what you have to say! Please leave a comment or even email me directly at email@example.com