Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Put A Comma In Your Life


  [kom-uh]  noun
the sign (,), a mark of punctuation used for indicating a division in a sentence, as in setting off wordphrase, or clause, especially when such a division is accompanied by a slight pause or 
is to be noted in order to give order to the sequential elements of the sentence. 

I had a comma in my blogging for a little over a month. It was so long that I worried it would be a period. 

But through different scenarios over the past month or so, I'm learning to appreciate adding a comma to certain situations and to my life in general. 

A pause.

A moment (or hours, days, weeks...) to collect myself, assess, and most importantly pray. 
Pray for wisdom and guidance. Pray for discernment. Pray for all involved. 

It's too easy to snap and react. Sometimes emotions get the best of me and I react rather than respond. 

I want to be someone who responds in a measured, non-manipulative, non- confrontational way. Trying to diffuse rather than incite. 

Not everyone feels that way. I'm learning that not everyone cares when their biting comments or overtly mean actions affect someone else. 

Sometimes it's necessary to address these people and sometimes, it's a better use of your time, energy and effort to let it go. 

Now...determining which time to do which thing is hard. At least for me. 

I found this pin on Pinterest and it resonated with me:

And this one:

And I have decided that I will use that metaphorical comma to not only weigh and measure my actions and responses, but also to evaluate who is actively in my life and who is taking my energy. 

I wrestled with whether cutting people out is Biblical or something Jesus would do...and then I remembered Jesus telling His disciples: 

"When you knock on a door, be courteous in your greeting. If they welcome you, be gentle in your conversation. If they don’t welcome you, quietly withdraw. Don’t make a scene. Shrug your shoulders and be on your way." Matthew 10:12-14, MSG

Jesus also was known to retreat from everyone and go be alone when the crowds got to be  too much. I'm hardly in the same position, but there are definitely times when there are too many people sapping me of energy with demands, expectations, and poor treatment. 

I am finding that it is not selfish, but necessary to remove them from my life or remove myself from theirs in order to focus on my family, in order to be the wife and mom I'm called to be. When I don't, when I allow myself to continue being treated or spoken to in a negative and damaging way, I internalize it all and that ends up coming out on those who are closest to me: My husband gets a crabby wife, my kids have to deal with a mom who is unglued and it breeds chaos and strife in our house

I'm certainly not against reconciliation or working through things. If I was, I'd have no relationships in my life at all. But, like in the image above, when someone is repeatedly treating me in a way that is harmful and has zero desire or makes no attempt to change or even acknowledge your feelings, something has to give. 

So, from now on, in that situation, I am choosing  to shrug my shoulders and move on. Not making a scene, but going on my way. 

And pray for those who I am walking away from.

I cannot fix every problem and I cannot address every issue when it's one-sided or when the other(s) involved don't wish to hear. But God can and He will in His timing.

Walking away or distancing myself does not mean that I wish them ill will or that I have to be rude or beat a drum down the middle of Main street announcing the separation. It just means placing distance in between and drawing a boundary. And it doesn't have to mean forever.

So if you are someone who is struggling in this area, I encourage you to pray for God's guidance. Pray asking Him to help you see in what areas you may be contributing to the conflict. And pray for Him to reveal to the other parties involved their part as well.  

And know that you are not alone. 
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