The Crazy-Evil-Nightmare Lady


You're late. Your daughter is complaining that her hairbrush just broke. Breakfast hasn't been made. On your way to the kitchen, you trip on a tennis shoe left out by your hubby and stub your toe. ARRRRRRGGGG. You feel your blood starting to boil. In fact, you're so en fuego, it's really a wonder that you're still alive. In that moment we have a choice. Do we...

1.) React and succumb to our feelings? (Aka- how we "feel" in that moment) Or

2.) Take a moment to pause (before freaking the @$#% out) and surrender our feelings of that fleeting (yet horrid) moment to God?

Which do we choose??? Well, by default most of us pick option 1. (Me included) Without even skipping a beat. And then we leave a trail of wreckage behind us. One that can hurt, scar and deeply wound those around us (whom we love so dearly) for years to come. Amidst the chaos and stress of everyday life, it's so easy to get so caught up in the moment - the tyranny of the urgent, our soapboxes, whatever - that we become self-righteous, critical, attacking, booty heads. Often justifying our reactions and placing blame on everyone else. Without stopping to consider the ramifications of our actions or attitude. {And there are many} Instead of fostering unity, peace, health, encouragement and positivity - we often cause and yes, even foster, the opposite. Often with those we love the most. Yikes. So what gives? How the heck do we NOT go from zero to crazy-evil-nightmare lady in seconds? Well - for starters, we need to take time each day to stop and assess. Ourselves.

Since I know we are all about "the steps," here's step one.

>Reflect and ask some (not so easy) questions.<

Am I being tender, forgiving, kind, gracious, humble, gentle and patient?

How?

How am I NOT??

What am I blowing out of proportion?

How do I need to shift so I CAN be the things that God asks of me?? Here's the deal - if we ask- He'll show us. Oh that's a guarantee. Kinda like asking your 5-year old if you look good in that outfit. Lol. So now that we know that we're not perfect, and yes, we do have issues that need improving, chances are, we'll find ways to justify our behavior. We all do. So here is step two.

>Humble yo self.<

Get this- there's this dreadful thing called pride. And it usually befriends insecurity and fear. And together these three are like the dreaded mean girl pack from 'Mean Girls.' They will rule us if we let them. By telling us that we didn't do anything wrong, we are justified in our reaction, we don't need to make it right -- and, when to wear pink. However- these meanies take no prisoners. Oh no. They will destroy us AND our relationships, instead of bringing the satisfaction we crave.

Next step.

>Ask God, AND those you trust, for help, accountability and gentle reminders in those daily freak-out moments.<

Sometimes we are blinded by our own poo. As in - we just don't see it. Fact is: we will stumble miserably on our own!! We need the loving help, guidance and accountability of those we TRUST to come along side... To scoop us back onto the wagon when we've fallen off. This is a glorious thing!!

Last step.

>Practice repentance, forgiveness and restoration. Often.<

So guess what? It doesn't have to end with the bullies claiming the victory folks. Oh heck to the no. Remember that mean girl pack made up of pride, insecurity and fear?? Well, there's also three buddies who can kick the holy hell out of those mean, joy stealing, relationship destroying, villains. They are called repentance, forgiveness and restoration. And they work in that exact order. They don't discriminate based on age, sex, race, ethnicity or demographic. They're like that kid in school who somehow, managed to be friends with everyone. Here's a 10 second layman's practical breakdown:

Repentance: This is the first step in this process. To repent literally means to change our mind. But here's how it breaks down practically: Repentance requires taking some time (sometimes just a few moments, sometimes many moments) to cool down and objectively reflect on our behavior, so that we can acknowledge what we did, how it was received, and willingly choose to do things differently going forward. We Duffey's call this step getting a "happy heart."

Forgiveness: This step often gets mistaken for an apology. Forgiveness is so much more than an "I'm sorry." It is the act of humbling ourselves and taking ownership of our actions, and how we have caused someone else to feel. Hint- it goes wayyy farther to say: "I'm so sorry I did _______, and that I make you feel ________." Yet, what we have a tendency to say is: "I'm sorry you feel ________." Yuck. The ownership is SO different. Much less in the latter. It practically puts the entire thing on the offend-ee. No bueno.

This step is a bit like a dance. It takes two. (To tango) In order to extend beyond a simple, "I'm sorry," and enter forgiveness territory - our job is of course to humbly take ownership, but those we have hurt, need to actually extend forgiveness to us. That's what forgiveness requires. Now because I'm all about practical application, before moving on, allow me to break this down further. There's a dialogue involved here. We need to actually say: "Will you please forgive me for ________." And in return - the other party needs to actually say, "Yes. I forgive you." It's amazing what all those seemingly simple words do for our hearts and minds. Little miracle workers. Little relationship restoring champions.

Restoration: This is the by-product of the previous two processes. The is the good stuff. The frosting. (I love frosting) This is when you get to hug and kiss and celebrate. You have restored things with one you love! This is cause for a celebration. Now it's dealt with and time to move on. Time to do your victory dance.

So - while all this may seem like a lot, here's the great news: you don't have to be the crazy-evil-nightmare lady forever. Change IS possible. Is it hard to do the steps I just shared? Well, it's certainly not always easy, convenient or fun. That's fo show. But, like everything else in life, it's how we get to the GOOD stuff.

And this is just one more way that God frees us from our own yucky crud, so that we can actually be WHO he made us to be. Unshackled to garbage that can enslave and destroy us -- enjoying the life and relationships he designed us to have.

That's pretty awesome.

Clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Colossians 3:12

Xoxo... Sara

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