Relax, Reflect, Recharge

She Got More Likes Than I Did

Eph 1-4 AEG

“Should I delete my Instagram pic? I only got 12 likes in the first five minutes,” I overheard one of my daughters say to the other.

In typical mom fashion, I took that opportunity to remind them that their beauty, value and self‑worth did not hinge on the opinions, approvals or disapprovals of others, much less how many “likes” they received on a picture.

And of course, in typical young adult fashion, I got a couple of eye rolls. But that’s okay. Because every now and then, we all need to be reminded of the truth.

I get where they’re coming from, especially considering today’s online culture. I vividly remember what it felt like as a young girl to long for the approval and acceptance of others. I also remember the insecurities that festered in my heart over feeling like I didn’t measure up or wasn’t accepted by my peers, or by boys. I remember the painful sting of rejection or being excluded — and that was long before everything was on the Internet.

Unfortunately, those longings for acceptance, approval and love don’t end after high school or even college. Deep‑seated insecurities and the hurt of feeling rejected and unwanted are no less painful as an adult. In fact, those emotions are often personified as we look at others’ social media pages and see how many “friends” they have, how perfect their families look, how awesome their husbands seem to be, how great their lives appear and how many “likes” they get on their photos.

But the truth is, behind those photos, real life happens. And it’s not always pretty or perfect. In fact, those same women we think have it all together or get the most “likes,” probably struggle with deep hidden hurts and the constant unmet need to feel accepted and wanted. To feel loved and treasured, instead of set aside and rejected. To feel we’re enough, instead of inadequate.

I’m one of those women. Maybe you are, too.

But what comfort it brings to read Paul’s words to God’s people in today’s key verse: “Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes” (Ephesians 1:4).

How reassuring to know there is One who always accepts us and thinks we are priceless. But the reassurances don’t stop there. Paul continues by telling believers, “God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ. This is what he wanted to do, and it gave him great pleasure. So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us who belong to his dear Son. He is so rich in kindness and grace that he purchased our freedom with the blood of his Son and forgave our sins. He has showered his kindness on us, along with all wisdom and understanding” (Ephesians 1:5-8, NLT).

Whether we are 9‑ or 99‑years‑old, we all want to feel accepted, loved, approved of and liked. Maybe you long for the acceptance and love from a husband, a child, a friend or a community. Maybe there are days when you wonder if you are enough. Days when you lose sight of all the wonderful, unique things about yourself and instead focus on all the wonderful, unique things about everyone else. Everyone else who seems to be more accepted and “liked” than you.

Those are the days when the verses from Ephesians 1 become the perfect poetry to recite in our hearts. They serve as sweet reminders that we have not only been individually chosen by a sovereign God, but that we are also blessed, accepted, forgiven and redeemed. And you can’t get any more “liked” than that.

Thank you Tracie Miles.

Hope Wissel, Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Prescription For Peace: RELEASE

Matthew 6:14 For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. (NIV)

Thank you to Tracie Miles for her awesome blog.. This section stopped me in my tracks:

“She hurt my feelings. I have forgiven her, but I still can’t get past it”, said my friend.

Her statement made me stop and think…….is forgiveness really forgiveness, if we can’t get past the situation? Have we really forgiven, if we are still harboring resentment?  The Bible clearly answers this question with a resounding no, and it actually is not the way that the dictionary defines it either.  Forgiveness in the dictionary is defined as: “to grant pardon to (a person); to cease to feel resentment against; to cancel an indebtedness or liability of.”

Even in the secular definition, forgiveness is described as not only pardoning an offense, but ceasing to feel resentful. Canceling the debt from our memory bank, instead of putting it on a mental shelf where we can pull it out from time to time.

I have to admit this was me!  Believe it or not, this all happened almost a year ago and I still couldn’t let it go.  In my head and with my words, I had forgiven this person but the truth was – I still hadn’t gotten past it.  I continued to bring it up especially on those days when Debbie Doubtful made an appearance in my life.  The RELEASE part wasn’t happening.  The result was the joy was being stolen out of my business.

Traci talks about how this “poison” effects all areas of our life in the form of stress.  I was stressing comparing my business to theirs and stressing over things that I had no control over.  I was ultimately taking the focus off of God’s plan for MY life and putting the focus on them.  WOW!  Was this a wake up call for me.

I needed to do more than forgive this person who I am sure is clueless about the control that I had given her over my life. I needed to RELEASE this in order to have true peace.  A part of me wanted to hold on to that hurt – I mean wasn’t that a good excuse if I didn’t do as well as she did?  I wanted to blame her for mistakes that I made.  Polly People Pleaser sure was having a field day as I was jumping through hoops for someone else.

The day that I felt true RELEASE from this hurt, things started to turn around.  I wasn’t obsessed with how she was doing, what she was doing, and how she was doing it.  I wasn’t thinking about how I could impress her – truth is I never was going to do that.  I actually started to help her, the best way I knew how, to be the best in her business.   I wasn’t perfect and it was okay.  She may not accept the help and that was okay too.

As I forgive AND RELEASE – I am excited about the growth in my business.  I have new recruits.  I am booking parties and sales are growing.  I have turned my business over to God and am following his path, whatever that may be.  I have a God-sized dream and I know that in his time – it will happen.  Do I regret the time that I have wasted?  YES but this has been a learning lesson for me.  Sort of like developing a thick skin for sandpaper people…I had to go through it to grow.

I challenge you today – Commit to doing some emotional releasing today, and you will take great strides in your journey to become less stressed. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!