Persistent Positivity in the Face of Open Loops!

Persistent Positivity in the Face of Open Loops!

Persistent & positive

Persistent positivity…in the face of open loops?

Being your own cheerleader is most important!…and actually, necessary. Your view of yourself and your self talk is the most powerful input you will ever get.

Often I will discover or have it pointed out to me some routine I didn’t finish that negatively impacted someone.  We call it in my house, an “open loop.”  I open windows in the a.m. to cool down the house but I forget to close them before the sun comes around, so the house is twice as hot as it would have been. I feed the cats but forget to put away the catfood afterward.  (I will get back to the catfood in my part-2 blog.) These are the kind of loops that are easiest to leave open because they involve timing but not much thought. I can be thinking about something completely different as I do these things so I may get distracted and pick up on a thought in the middle of my task. Oi!

Here is what I mean:

The windows –  If I don’t set a timer for the closing of the windows I will most likely forget.  There have been times I have remembered early and thought to myself, ‘ it’s too early…I will come back to it’ with every intention of doing so.  Convinced I will, I go on with my day but end up completely forgetting.  I am better off doing something either immediately when I think of it or I need to set a timer.  Really those are my two options.  It’s tricky though because doing it immediately may keep you from accomplishing something else you had planned to do.  It’s good to pause and check first.  If nothing will be impacted, then go for it!

Anyway, back to my original thought – being persistent.  I accidentally tick people off, whether I know it or not.  All I can do is apologize and do my best at being aware of my open loops. (Timers can be a helpful tool.  Just remember to not pound yourself if you forget the timer, too.  Beating yourself up just makes the rest of the day worse.)

Let people express their frustration so they know you care about their feelings.  Whether you mean to do things or not, they are hurt, so let them know you love them by listening.

Try not to internalize their words of anger as attacks on who you are, it’s just what you have done. Now, yes it can be hard to separate those two but if you do you will be able to think more clearly and problem solve how to make the situation better. If you let other people’s anger completely overcome you it will distract you, and just make things worse.

You aren’t stupid, you aren’t an idiot, so just listen compassionately, keep your head on straight and be open to the fact that you just might come up with a creative idea to help improve the situation so it won’t happen quite as often. Be persistent with being persistent. 😉

What routines do you find challenging to complete? Please share. We may be able to help.

Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did.

photo credit: Loving Earth via photopin cc

Blessings

Blessings

Blessings

This is a song I wrote for my sister, Catherine, and her husband, FJ, for their wedding day (Catherine & FJ Abaya). At the time I had to sing it acapella because my hands still hurt so much. This made me very nervous, but after singing acapella on the cruise ship, I was determined to do it! I hoped it would be a blessings for their ceremony, as well as a chance for me to pray out loud my hope for their life together.

When it came time to record this song I was ecstatic to surprise them with me accompanying myself on the guitar.

This song underlines the importance of having God woven into your marriage, “three cords combined.” Life can provide you with joyful times but also many challenges and disappointments. Sometimes circumstances around you can get so bad that it can use up everything you’ve got! When two people who love each other are both dealing with their own difficult situations at the same time it can get really rocky. God can be that third cord to keep you strong and keep from breaking apart.

If you ever find yourself wondering who it is you are living with and even questioning whether you like them.

You are just normal!

We all unknowingly bring so much of our past experiences into our lives that we don’t always see the other for who they are but either who they remind us of or even who we wish they would be. It’s important to stop and recognize this.

We need to get our heads wrapped around the fact that we are all broken doing the best we can with the tools we were given.

It’s also important to be open to the fact that we could learn more through counseling.

Counseling has been a helpful tool we have referred to off and on throughout our marriage. It’s part of the reason we have made it this far.

I encourage you to embrace your spouse and the fact that you are both imperfect and can still learn and grown no matter how long you have been married.

Ultimately though, welcome God into your marriage every day. He can give us compassionate ears that can listen to our spouse when we really don’t want to. He can give us self control when all we want to do is scream about our own boss, or our own relational situations. It is purely by the strength of God that we can have what it takes to care for each other in the midst of our own stuff.

Seriously, let God give you what you need to be there for each other. Don’t turn your pain into a competition, where you compare who has the worst situation. Everyone’s feelings count. We normally know this but when we are hurting it’s hard to think clearly. Remember you are a team. You two are one, but you don’t need to do it alone! Praise God!!

Can you relate? What are some tips that have been helpful in your marriage?

Add your thoughts below. We’ll be glad you did.

Maria

Maria

Maria

This song was written for our God-daughter, Maria, who lives in Norway with her parents, Katie & Kjell Møgster, and three big brothers.  Back in 2006, the Møgsters called us from Mali, Africa (during their missionary years) and asked us to be her God-Family.  They invited us to meet them in Norway to attend Maria’s baptism.  Well, of course, we said “yes!” with great enthusiasm and immediately started the process of obtaining tickets that would eventually have us arrive in Ålesund, Norway.

Now, a baptism is always a special event. But in Norway, it is a HUGE event.  Many hours of preparation were put into decorating the house, setting up tables, making centerpieces, organizing name tags, and preparing group games.  Oh yes, then there is the never-ending supply of food!

The morning of the baptism was spent preparing for the special baptismal worship service.  The worship experience was amazing!  I couldn’t understand a word of it, but the rhythm of the liturgy and prayers felt familiar, especially the Lord’s Prayer.

There was only one part of the service that was in English, the part when I got up and sang.  The Møgsters had informed me that it is often a tradition for the God-parents to have one of their gifts be a poem or song.  So, I happily wrote Maria a song, in the weeks before our Norwegian odyssey.  The words of the chorus were projected onto the screen and I invited everyone to sing along during the last time through…which they did, in their conservative Norwegian way of doing things.

After worship, we drove back to Kjell’s mothers home with the family.  Immediately, their friends and family started arriving for the festivities.  There must have been about 40 people there, each with a name tag showing them where they were going to sit.  We heard Norwegian songs, ate Norwegian food, played group games and learned a lot about … Norwegians!!  The last visitors (who weren’t going to be sleeping at the house) finally left around 8pm that night.  Finally, it was down to just the…15 of us.  This included 7 children, 5 of them young elementary school boys!

The whole trip was an amazing adventure. Being immersed in another culture for 2 1/2 weeks gave me a much bigger understanding of our world. My family and I didn’t want to leave!

In June, 2011, during one of our reunions with the Møgsters, here in the States, Maria asked me to sing her song. I happily agreed.  Maria was 5 at this time, so I could look her in the eyes as I sang.  She would blush and turn away, but soon I found her looking at me again.  It was a precious moment.  Clearly she felt very special about having her own song.

I am so glad that my song touched Maria’s heart. It clearly made her feel loved and cherished.

Has anyone done something extra special in your life while growing up?  Have you ever told them what it meant to you?  If not, think about doing that.  It would mean a lot to them.

Too Much Caffeine

Too Much Caffeine

Ode To The Bean

“Too Much Caffeine”

Writing songs for me is like getting a buzz from too much coffee. After I wrote “Let’s Get a Latte” I was so amped up that I had to keep the caffeinated lyrics flowing!  Hence, “Too Much Caffeine.”

Being a person who loves learning the behind-the- scenes information, here is a little behind-the-scenes tid bit for you.

For some reason when I perform this song I feel like I am singing on stage in a Broadway musical.

Ever since I was in the musical Annie in 6th grade I have had a desire to bring a little drama into my music once in awhile.

I even have these hand gestures and dance moves that are acted out in my head. Due to the guitar in my hands it is a bit difficult to act them out. Instead I express my drama through my face and pregnant pauses in my guitar playing.

Anyway, speaking of drama, this song reminds me of how serious some people are about their morning coffee.

Not quite a year after moving to Boise I attended a women’s convention with a bunch of church ladies I was getting to know. We had a delightful time together.

On the final morning of the event we all gathered in the conference room at the hotel for breakfast. We had all just received our breakfast when I heard some grumbling sounds across the room. I looked up and saw that this older lady had just discovered that we had already run out of coffee. Up to this point I had not realized  how important it is for some people to have their morning cup of joe. It’s like coffee is the key to opening the door to their “smile”. No coffee. No smile.

Since I had never really witnessed this before, I almost started laughing at her behavior. But luckily I stopped myself from letting loose a giggle. The look on this ladies face told me that this was no laughing matter. Eeesh!

I had to work hard not to laugh. Don’t you hate that! It’s seems the harder I try not to laugh the funnier the situation is to me and it just gets harder to keep it under control. Hee hee!

Caffeine To Go, Please

Stressing over a small cup of coffee seemed silly to me. However, I have my own moments when I take things too seriously, also. How well I played my guitar, sang a song, shared my thoughts with the audience…yep, I get pretty serious about those things. Countless other things, too. But, when I take things too seriously I just suck all the joy right out of it.

Now back to our story. I am happy to announce that the hotel did had more coffee and peace reigned on earth once again.

What are some things that you stress about in life? Is it necessary? Anything you get just a little too serious about? How do you deal?

Comment below. Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did.

Let’s Get a Latte

Let’s Get a Latte

~Janet’s Blog

A Lotta Changes

“Let’s Get a Latte”Let's Get a Latte

This was the first song I wrote after moving to Boise.

While living in Yakima I reached a point in my life where I found myself in what I would call a friendship drought. I was so grateful for my mother-in-law, who lived 7 houses down the street from me, and for my sister who chatted on the phone with me multiple times a week. Between them and writing songs with my friend, Jeff, they kept me sane during this time of my life.

When we first moved to Boise with my family spring of 2004, I remember well the first “normal” day of school for my daughter and work for my hubby. I said goodbye to my hubby and then dropped off my 1st grader at White Pine to finish up the last two months of her school year. I remember sitting in my car, driving home and feeling so lonely.

A Whole Latte Love

Later that day I met a mom at the school who invited me to call her if I needed info on doctors or whatever since we were new to town. I thought that was really nice of her to do that. However, feeling a bit shy and completely out of my comfort zone, I didn’t call right away. By the end of the week, she came up to me and gently scolded, “you haven’t called me yet.” I said, “I know but….what I’d really like to do is go have coffee with you somewhere!”

Inside Scoop – We actually did get Lattes on Tuesday! My friend also did look a little dizzy being the mother of 3 boys. I think her world was one long sports activity!

Our cats, Stuart and Albert. Friends.

This was the beginning of several weeks of Latte dates on Tuesdays and the creation of a song. Having someone to talk to that would listen to me was very helpful in making me feel more at home. Boise was, and continues to be, a beautiful place! I feel really spoiled here with the ease of getting around. However, it’s the supportive relationships surrounding me that make me feel at home.

No Fear

If you are in a friendship drought right now don’t worry, I have been there too. Pray about it! Pray for the friendships you hope to make and pray that you will become an even better friend to these new people.

It’s important to nurture your friendships. Friends play an important role in our lives. They help us see who we are, what we are good at, and can point out areas where we can grow.

Who do you have in your life to share your heart with? Is it time for you to invest in your social life? It is an important investment. Where are places you have gone to make new friends?

Comment below. Add to the conversation. We’ll be glad you did.

[embedded photo credit: Ahmed Rabea via photopin cc]

 

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