Thursday, July 3, 2014

Let's be Friends!

My mind is circling something. An observation I suppose. Maybe a beginning of a rant... I don't know. I don't want it to be a rant. I often find that people's rants are full of opinion stated as fact and actually lacking in actual fact. See what I did there? :) 

Anyway, my thought that started this need to blog/rant is: "I like Facebook". 

Why you may ask did I have this thought? Well let me tell you. I have recently found myself in a group preparing to go on a trip out of the country together and we don't hardly know one another at all. So I have been friending people trying to ask questions, I can see where they are from, what they care about on a daily basis etc.. So why are these thoughts warranting a blog post? Why is my head swimming with thoughts? 

Because the second I thought I like FB it was immediately followed by the next second of WAIT, so many people don't like it, get mad at it and at other people. I can think of so many examples just from this week where I have seen people comment with hurtful words, people annoyed with posts they find annoying (I'll get to this in a minute), and arguments that spin out of control but would probably never happen in real life. 

And I think what is the deal!?!?!
I'm not saying nor will I ever say that I am perfect and faultless.  
I will admit I have gotten in a few tiffs and I have said something that was probably hurtful. I'm not trying to condemn necessarily I'm just trying to wrap my head around this FB world and figure out why I'm in it and find a reason to stay.

I first joined FB (reluctantly in 2007 I might add) to update people about my life who I don't get to see or talk to on a regular basis. I announced I was engaged, told the proposal story and was pleased to have a new avenue for communication. 
My first post.

What I think I have been noticing is that now somehow FB has become a place for random opinions to be announced to the masses. Which, when you think about it, is really weird. Or maybe it is used as accountability (working out, eating, bible reading,etc) which is also kind of weird.  That isn't really what I'm trying to talk about but it does make me question why am I on Facebook.  

hmmm so maybe I still haven't gotten to what this post is all about?

Well, this is my blog and therefore my soapbox to stand on. So maybe this post is about taking a step back and realizing the most things in life and certainly on Facebook ARE NOT ABOUT YOU! Granted I know peoples status, activities, likes, comments show up on your wall if you are friends or follow them but it still isn't about you, that the thing we all fail to see most of the time it has never been about us it's about the person who posted it. So in an effort to help in some way here are some:

1. If you are annoyed with a reoccuring game requests change your settings! Don't yell at people to not invite you. With one simple click you can block that game app! AND NEVER SEE IT AGAIN FROM ANYONE!

2. Are you annoyed with a certain themes (politics, religious arguments, sports updates, trending articles) that you don't care about? Don't read them! Scroll on by or maybe even take some time away from FB if you are truly bothered; an evening- a few weeks- a certain time of day.Why is it other peoples responsibility to not share in their joy, interests, etc. with others just because you happen to not care. 

3. If you get tired of an overbearing FBfriend you can easily change how often you see posts from "friends"! Just change your settings - STOP whining about it! Hide, by unfollowing, people who constantly grate on your nerves. You don't have to "unfriend" them. And you certainly don't need to publicly reprimand them.

We all have our pet peeves on FB. I have mine but how do we handle those annoyances? It's kind of like an opinion I think. Maybe best not shouted to the masses but perhaps handled discreetly.

So where does that leave us?  I guess it leaves us with a question yet again.

Why are you on Facebook? Do you know why?

I am on Facebook to keep up with people I wouldn't get to keep up with on a regular basis.  I share what is going on in my life, for the most part, because my hope is that those who follow my posts want to keep up with me.  So let's do that.  Let's be friends - giving each other love and respect as we share our lives with one another. Facebook is a community.  Living in community is hard, anyone can tell you that.  So let's not forget to be intentional in all our interactions to strive to uplift each other not drag each other down.

So that's what I have been thinking about this week.  

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Medical Mission Trip

I'm excited to share with you that in July Phil and I have the opportunity to join with a group from our church (The Village Church in Flower Mound, TX) to spend 10 days in Guatemala City, Guatemala on a medical mission trip.

As most of you already know in May 2012 Phil graduated PA school and has since been working in a Pediatric ER. One of the reoccurring dreams Phil had as he trudged through school was to serve on medical mission trips as much as possible. This trip is answer to that prayer and dream and I am thrilled, as his wife, to be able to join him even as a non-medical professional and serve alongside him in other capacities.

For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed?
And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?
And how are they to hear without someone preaching?
And how are they to preach unless they are sent?
As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!"
Romans 10:13-15

I want to take a step back though and really walk through why go on a short term mission trip rather than just continuing to share the good news here at home. 
So why go? 
This is a question I have wrestled with myself in preparing for this trip.  Surely there are plenty of places to serve and give back here in our own community.  Why raise money?  Why spend that money on travel and accommodations when that money could be given to a local organization. I believe these are legitimate questions and ideas to wrestle with but I believe answers and reasons are clear and my hope in the blog post is that you too will see the same need we see.

"If we have never had the experience of taking our
commonplace religious shoes off our commonplace religious feet,
and getting rid of all the undue familiarity with which we approach God,
it is questionable whether we have ever stood in his presence." 
― Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest: Selections for the Year

Phil and I are in a unique position of not having tons of responsibilities keeping us from traveling right now. We don't yet have kiddos, are jobs are flexible, we have great friends and family that will watch our doggies and so we can go. Go; into other parts of the world, stepping away from our daily routines to see how others live, work, worship, and to reach people with resources they aren't always provided like we are.

Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the people!
1 Chronicles 16:24

When we first became interested in this trip we didn't know much about Guatemala and thought perhaps others may not as well so I wanted to tell you a little bit about where we will be going.

Guatemala City, is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Guatemala, and the most populous in Central America. More than half of Guatemalans are descendants of the indigenous Maya peoples; most live in the western highlands and are poor subsistence farmers. By contrast the rest of the population are known as Ladinos (mostly mixed Maya-Spanish ancestry). Ladinos use Spanish and wear Western clothing, while Maya speak some 24 indigenous languages and retain traditional dress and customs. What that means is the economy is divided mostly between lower class rural and upper class urban. It also means that Spanish is not the only language spoken especially in the rural areas. Poverty in the Republic of Guatemala is widespread and deeply entrenched. Approximately 51 per cent of the population lives in rural areas, according to the International Fund for Agricultural Development Rural Poverty Portal, and the rural population accounts for a large majority of the country's poor people. Poverty is highly concentrated among indigenous communities. These communities lack assets and access to resources. Resources that we take for granted every day. Many homes are made of scavenged materials, with dirt floors, no toilets, and no drinkable water. Preventable diseases occur frequently because of these poor conditions and often result in death. Malnutrition is common among children, and infant mortality rates are high. 

For these reasons, we are joining with our partner church, Casa de Libertad, in Guatemala City to serve in rural communities, as well as a clinic located at Fundaninos (orphanage/children’s home). Guatemala City has modern conveniences, medical supplies, pharmaceutical resources but the rural communities lack access to these necessities. Unless groups like ours go to these rural areas those who live in the poverty are often without quality health care.

But if anyone has the world's goods and sees his brother in need, 
yet closes his heart against him, how does God's love abide in him? 
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:17-18

The above verse from the Bible speaks directly of why we have a desire to serve on this mission trip. We have been given abundant blessings and want to love those in need through our actions. We love because we were first loved, 1 John 4:19, we hope and desire to share that love with others.

Probably as everyone reading this is well aware, part of short term mission, well actually any mission work, is raising the funds to make the mission happen. When I first was faced with raising the funds to go I bowed up to this because I felt like we should not ask our friends and family to give us money for a trip that we could save for and potentially fund ourselves. As I mentioned, at this point in our lives, we don't have as many financial burdens and hurdles as some of our friends. But as I was challenged with the tasks I have realized that by allowing friends to contribute to our trip (even in the smallest amount) we are allowing them to be a part of the trip though they can't physically go; investing into the Kingdom and support our decision step outside our comfort zones and serve alongside others in our church family. And let's be honest, we are all more interested and in tune with what we are financially invested in than if we aren't. 

Also, in raising the trip fund requirements Phil and I are more financially freed to be able to give monetarily to the church or orphanage or community in Guatemala once we are there. So if you can give monetarily and have a desire to join in the mission of this trip to serve the medical needs of those in rural villages near Guatemala City as the children's orphanage there or just to support us as we follow the Lord's leading then even $10 is a choice, a dedication, an action that means the world to us and I believe is an act of faith that the Lord is going to do great work on this trip.

But most importantly the way to partner with us in this trip is through prayer. Earnestly seeking the Lord on our behalf as we prepare for this trip and then while we are there serving. Praying for the children and adults we will meet. Praying for our team to grow in unity as we get to know one another. Pray for the wisdom of each medical provider that is going on the trip. Courage for each of us as we strive to share the good news of the Lord's great mercy and love for each of the people we encounter. Pray for the hearts of the people we will meet that they would already begin to have soften to the Lord's promises. Pray against the distractions that so easily entangle us as we prepare and while there. Pray for funding for each team member to be raised so that it doesn't become a stumbling block. Pray for our hearts to be in tune with how the Lord will use each of us on this trip.

If you desire to contribute financially to this trip you may do so either by check or securely online.

You can hand us a check to submit to the funds or feel free to drop it in the mail*. Please have it made out to The Village Church with STM - Guatemala IV - Phil & Constance Ray in the memo.

*text, call, email, FB message us and we will get you our mailing address.

(You have to create an account to donate online so this is the login area.)

To do so, please follow the instructions below:
  1. Go to
  2. If you do not already have an account, you can create one at this time. Otherwise, log in using your Email & Password.
  3. Select your name.
  4. Select "STM - Guatemala IV - July 17th-27th" from the 
  5. drop-down menu and click continue.
  6. Select "Ray, Phil & Constance" under the first drop-down menu, and select the amount you would like to contribute from the second menu.
  7. Select eCheck as your payment option and enter your 
  8. information. Ensure you use a check and not a deposit slip, as routing numbers may differ. Also, ensure you do not include the check number at the end of your account number. There is an illustration on the page for your reference.
  9. Double check your information and click "Submit Forms."
Your contribution will be tax deductible.

Additionally, we are hoping to host a dinner at a local restaurant where proceeds would go to our funding. Once we details are confirmed I will update. 

I am almost bursting in anticipation of telling you all about this trip - the beautiful children we will meet, the people in the clinics, how our team grew together and worked as ambassadors of Christ together, and mostly how we see God work.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Radio Silence

I have created an enormous amount of radio silence on my little blog here.  I don't mean to be so distant but every time I have opened up a post to start writing I stop with the thought... I have nothing to say.  Don't get my wrong I can talk.  But I guess I have been feeling like sometimes I just talk without a good purpose or in a way that really anyone needs to care about.  To be honest that thought is still running through my mind.
Additionally, I think I drive myself crazy with my own thoughts and inner dialog so I figure if I'm annoyed with myself how much more annoying am I to everyone else.

So that being said I have been thinking about personalities a lot for the past several months. A while back posts were going social-media viral about being an extrovert or introvert and I would read the posts and admittedly chuckle at a few but I always ended up thinking hmmm that's just not me; which of course got me thinking why?

I mean aren't I supposed to be either an extrovert or an introvert?
So I took a personality quiz.  I know there are a million out there and when I was in highs school my Mom paid for us to take a very intense one to help us think about our careers. (the results were VERY creepy accurate)

Anyway, this time I took the Humanmetrics Jung Typology test (which is based on Briggs Myers) and this is what I scored.

Low and behold it explains why those darn extrovert/introvert things don't really apply to me.
So this is my report.  I'll let you read it... cause why not!?!  And I'll highlight the most applicable and interesting parts so you can skim or you can scroll to the bottom and just get to the point :)

Extraverted Sensing Thinking Judging - ESTJ
Extravert(22%)  Sensing(25%)  Thinking(1%)  Judging(67%)
  • You have slight preference of Extraversion over Introversion (22%)
  • You have moderate preference of Sensing over Intuition (25%)
  • You have marginal or no preference of Thinking over Feeling (1%)
  • You have distinctive preference of Judging over Perceiving (67%)

ESTJs thrive on order and continuity. Being extraverted, their focus involves organization of people, which translates into supervision. While ENTJs enjoy organizing and mobilizing people according to their own theories and tactically based agendas, ESTJs are content to enforce "the rules," often dictated by tradition or handed down from a higher authority.
ESTJs are joiners. They seek out like-minded companions in clubs, civic groups, churches and other service organizations. The need for belonging is woven into the fiber of SJs. The family likewise is a central focus for ESTJs, and attendance at such events as weddings, funerals and family reunions is obligatory.
Tradition is important to the ESTJ. Holidays, birthdays and other annual celebrations are remembered and observed often religiously by this type. The ESTJ is inclined to seek out his roots, to trace the family heritage back to honored ancestors both for a sense of family respectability and for a sense of security and belonging.
Service, the tangible expression of responsibility, is another key focus for ESTJs. They love to provide and to receive good service. The ESTJ merchant who provides dependable service has done much to enhance her self image.
ESTJs have an acute sense for orthodoxy. Much of their evaluation of persons and activities reflects their strong sense of what is "normal" and what isn't. ESTJ humor is frequently centered around something or someone being off center or behaving abnormally. (Which translates to lots of people don't get my humor)
ESTJs promote the work ethic. Power, position and prestige should be worked for and earned. Laziness is rarely viewed with ambivalence nor benevolence by this type.

The ESTJ is outspoken, a person of principles, which are readily expressed. The ESTJ is not afraid to stand up for what she believes is right even in the face of overwhelming odds. ESTJs are able to make the tough calls.

Occupations attracting ESTJs include teaching, coaching, banking, political office, and management at all levels.

Functional Analysis:

Extraverted Thinking

ESTJs are very good at making impersonal decisions quickly, and standing by those decisions. They live in their Extraverted Thinking functioning, thus, their prime directive is in discovering that which is true and logical in the events of the real world. Circumstances calling for product invite the ESTJ to supervise or direct other individuals toward production and productivity. Extraverts are attracted to the "object," the external things and people in observable reality. This bent translates into a natural interest in goods and material objects. >

Introverted Sensing

The secondary Introverted Sensing is like that of the ISTJ, but not as strong. Si provides practical form and concept data to the Te head, however, form is not the overriding principle, especially if Thinking has already decided. In times of need, ESTJs are tempted to overlook even necessary information if its absence impedes closure. Secondary sensing sometimes translates into interest in sports. The persistence of primary Thinking gives many ESTJs a desire for discipline and regimen which can be beneficial in skills development in the arena. 

Introverted Feeling

This function may rarely be expressed. ESTJs who have cultivated, or have been blessed with, a "natural indirect expression of good will by inference," have great prospects of developing genuine friendships (as opposed to ESTJs who merely act out the behavior of Extraverted Feeling). Such a weak, introverted function is best observed in facial expression, eye contact, body language, and verbally only by implication. 

The next section is interesting cause it's the line up of famous folks with the same personality as me but I don't really know much about any of them so it isn't too insightful for me.

Famous ESTJs:

Simon Peter (Christ's disciple)
John Heywood (c.1497-c.1580, collector of English colloquialisms)
U.S. Presidents:
James Monroe
Andrew Jackson
William Henry "Tippecanoe" Harrison
Franklin Pierce
Grover Cleveland
Harry S. Truman
Lyndon B. Johnson
George W. Bush
Carrie Nation (American woman who was a radical member of the temperance movement, which opposed alcohol before the advent of Prohibition. She is particularly noteworthy for promoting her viewpoint through vandalism.)
Elliot Ness
John D. Rockefeller
Bette Davis (Ruth Elizabeth "Bette" Davis was an American actress of film, television and theater. Noted for her willingness to play unsympathetic, sardonic characters)
Robert A. Taft (U.S. senator, son of Pres. Wm. H. Taft)
Sam Walton, owner and founder of WalMart stores
Barbara Stanwyck
Rev. Billy Graham 
Dale Bumpers (U.S. Senator, D-Arkansas)
Phil Fulmer, head football coach of the U. Tenn Vols
Pat Head Summit, head basketball coach of the Lady Vols
Bill Frist, M.D. (U.S. Senate Majority Leader)

Now the next section is interesting cause I've got some real character jerks in the line up with the same personality as me. Maybe the moral of the story is we ESTJ are better in real life than made into character ;)


Lucy (Charles Schultz's Peanuts character)
Mrs. Harbottle (Herriott, All Creatures Great and Small)
Mrs. Rachel Lynde (Anne of Green Gables)
The Mayor (The Music Man)


Did you read all that?  Probably just the highlighted parts... I don't blame you.

My take away is that it sort of explains why I analyze things less from my feeling and more from what I know or discern.  Also watch out; I communicate with my eyes also known as "yelling with my eyes".

In closing, personalities are hard.  Living in community is hard.  We are all so different and finding commonality I have found is not always the secret to living in community well.  It's our differences that strengthen us, challenge us, and motivate us.  If we can get outside our own heads and listen to one another maybe we can grow. So this is why I blog.  To share me so maybe in some way I can challenge someone to try something they wouldn't have before or to grow in a new way or to think about something different.  I don't expect everyone to always agree with me or to like what I have to say all the time and that's okay; because we are all different.  

So with that my radio silence is broken.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ice Storm 2013 = New Bathroom for Me!

If you read my last blog entry you found out I joyously have a bit more time on my hands these days; and in case you don't know me too well then let me tell you extra time means I get a LOT done.  I'm not really very good and just "sitting around and eating bon-bons" as my husband would say.  Even when I am watching TV I like to be "doing" something.  So for some Christmas presents I have been making creations which is what dominated most of my time while iced in alone for four days (can't show you those yet, maybe after Christmas I'll blog about those).  Phil, my husband, works in an ER about an hour away so that means a couple things...
1. He HAS to go to work.  You can't really call in when you work in the ER.
2. You also can't drive back and forth when it is super icy and it's midnight so he stayed in a hotel and the dogs and I hunkered down trying to keep warm.
Arden was not a fan of the ice.

Frozen things are cool but I couldn't stay out long I'm a wuss. 

Thankfully, before the ice storm hit I had purchased lot of craft supplies and paint supplies.  I got the idea in my head that our main bathroom needed to be jazzed up.  So I went out on a limb and bought a gallon of fairly bright teal paint and got busy.

That's my before and after show and tell... 

I kind of love it and it makes me happy so regardless of if you like the change or not - I do... and it's way better than when we bought the house.

I know what you REALLY want to see is what it looked like when we first moved in.



I know it was special... we should have kept it. ;P
(It was hand stenciled and I totally felt guilty painting over it... BUT...)

After the bathroom was finished I had barely put a dent in the gallon of paint (oops - should have bought a quart) but I decided why stop with the bathroom so I painted our laundryroom/garage door.  I have dubbed it the "bant door" (combo of front and back... which in hind sight we have another backdoor so maybe I need to rethink this) as it functions more as our front door than our real front door. so maybe it should be dubbed "frage door" or "froge"... oh my.  Maybe I should just show you.

And now I must leave you with one final ice picture.
Doesn't our house look so great all decked out for Christmas with the pretty ice reflection.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Change is in the Air

The past few months have flown by in a sort of whirlwind that has almost had my head spinning.  In fact, my last blog was in August and let me tell you since then my world has been rocked.    Let me give you a little update.

As you may know this year Phil and I were blessed to take several trips.  Starting in April we went on a cruise, followed by a weekend in May to Boston and then in July we went to Hawaii.  (I haven't yet blogged about Hawaii... but it's coming don't worry along with TONS of photos.)  These trips were truly amazing, fun and eye opening for me.  Within all of them there was a massive reoccurring theme that "something in my life had to give".  As we would approach returning from these trips rather than having a sense of excitement to return home I would panic, melt down and become very anxious that I was returning to a stress level that wasn't healthy and was in these moments crippling.  As the realization settled over me that I was over-committed, over-stressed and I was the only one who could change that.  So I began to pray, talk with Phil and walk toward making changes.

In September I finally decided that it was time to step away from my full time job. Over the past couple years I have been growing my freelance client base.  It is a dream of my to work from home doing freelance and potentially (Lord willing) one day being home to raise kids.  The decision to leave my full time job was not an easy decision.  I have been with the company for 5 years and have grown my position from basically the ground up.  The company branding and marketing are in a lot of ways "my baby" and it is never an easy transition to pass the torch.  So that being said, the actual transition has taken some time.  After giving notice I stayed on in order to continue working while a new person was found and hired.  So my last official day was Oct. 31. It is sort of hard to believe that I have let go but by the wise words of a friend I was reminded that drawing boundaries is important and healthy.  So I drew the line.  AND NOW.... I am a full time freelance designer! WHAT!  freak out. (in a good way)

I feel so blessed to have this chance to follow this dream and thankful for a husband who is supportive and loving and able to carry the majority of our financial responsibilities.  I'm so grateful that he was able to pursue his dream of being a PA and now I can follow my dream of being a freelance designer and photographer.

The most amazing part of leaving my full time job is that I am no longer driving to Ft. Worth EVERYDAY! My hour plus commute each way is a burden I have gladly thrown to the wayside. Though I must admit I think I will miss listening to so many audio books.  (Audio books were my way of coping with road rage... and for me it works to keep my blissfully entertained and unperturbed by annoying - rude drivers.)

Things I have already learned:
  • It is still important to get up and get ready for the day...sitting in PJs all day doesn't make anyone feel good about themselves.
  • I still have to set a schedule because freelance can be perpetual hours.
  • Windows 8 sucks...haha just a little random free one for ya.
So if you want to check out my design website here it is.

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

-Isaiah 41:10

Friday, August 16, 2013

5 min Friday - Small...

It's that time again.  Five Minute Friday.  Last week I had a little more to say than 5 minutes of writing so I took a pause to blog about that.



I don't realize how doing the smallest things impact my daily life.  Well I don't realize it until I'm not doing those small things - like putting a dish in the dish washer after eating or throwing a box in the recycling. Those seemingly obvious actions are almost "no brainers" BUT when you don't do them WOW do they add up.  Recently, and let's be honest, for some time I have been stupidly busy.  I mean dumb.  It's my fault of course but when you are so busy that you start the dishwasher on a good day two weeks ago and haven't had any time to unload it for the next two weeks, it's not a pretty sight.  When the dishwasher is loaded with clean dishes you stop doing the small chore of loading up the dirty dishes.  Honestly I guess that's how life is on the whole - if you stop doing the small little things it becomes one be giant mess!  So with that said big changes are in the horizon for me.  And hopefully they mean that I will get myself together and do those seemingly small things that truly have a big impact.


Friday, August 9, 2013

Choosing to Not be Offended

WARNING: This may be offensive to some.

It's interesting to me how easily offended we are.  Mostly I mean women.  I know we are in general emotional creatures; we have hormones that tend to fluctuate (uh em... I mean rage), we are sensitive in a way men simply can't understand.  But ladies, why are we so easily offended?  Our toes are so easily stepped on.  Our feelings are so easily crushed.  Our hearts are so easily shattered. AND goodness knows our soapboxes are ENORMOUS!  Maybe I am stepping up on mine now but I hope that I am speaking in love and that it falls on soft hearts and open ears.

Let me first start with some scripture just for a little context and perspective.
A person’s wisdom yields patience;  it is to one’s glory to overlook an offense.Proverbs 19:11
Great peace have they who love Your law; nothing shall offend them or make them stumble. Psalm 119:165 
But he said to me,“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.2 Corinthians 12:9-10
These things are not easy, I'm not saying it is, especially in the midst of trial, insecurity, or "being wronged" etc. But we are souls created for community and if we constantly allow ourselves to be offended then we are building a wall that will not be easily broken and ultimately we will be left lonely in this world.
A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city and quarreling is like the bars of a castle.Proverbs 18:19 
My husband likes to say, "People are doing the best that they can."  I have struggled with this so much in the past few years and only recently is my heart softening toward the idea.  This idea though is a turning of ones heart away from selfish feelings and a sense of justice always needing to prevail. 

Think of what has offended you most recently.  Was it just a random passing comment, a compliment that you found a way to manipulate into negativity, was it someone else's inability to see your perspective, were you overlooked?

Some common examples that come to mind are:
Do you buck up anytime unsolicited advise is spoken your way? (As women we do this offering of advise constantly but I think more often than not we rear up when the same advise is offered our way.)

Are you struggling with something someone else isn't and let their joy build up to where you think they are deliberately flaunting it in your face?  News Flash:  They aren't!  They are just happy about a blessing in their life.  Rejoice with your friends. 

"You don't work" - but you are a stay at home Mom. But if someone says, "You don't work"  does your heart flare? 

Someone says, "You are so skinny" - if you are thin do you think that it is a rude thing to say? You have to know they are just trying to compliment you.  Why turn it?  Even if you are thin for a medical reason or it was a source of bullying when you were younger.... they aren't bullying you now why let old insecurities burden friendships or relationships now.

Were you inconvenience by someone's thoughtlessness and left to stew in your own pity party?  

Here's a little funny:

(You know why things are funny?... cause they're kinda true)

So all in all, we need to CHOOSE to not be offended. Because when our focus is Christ we are spurred toward love.  We see the wonderful grace and mercy we have been given and we walk in that truth. Let's step down from our soapbox(es) toward each other into community.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak,slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
James 1:19-20