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The Power of Words

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What if what I wished for was not what I wanted?  — Me

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This post could turn into a liturgy of unanswered prayers to thank God for, followed by a country song to that effect.  However, that’s not what I meant when I thought this thought.  My focus here is on the words we speak.  For example, I used to wish my husband would change an aspect about himself that I didn’t like.  Well, he has changed, but that’s not what I meant.  I wanted him to keep doing things, but I wanted the attitude to change.  I guess I should have been more specific when I prayed about it?

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Just fix it please!

Sometimes we don’t totally think through the things we think we want.  We don’t look at the aftermath, the unintended consequences, or God’s wisdom and timing in His plans for our life.  We don’t even know what we really want, we just throw out a generic “help, change it” because we’re stressed or worried about something in our life.  As we have discovered in the last few years, you can’t just wish for “change”, because it might not be the kind of change you want to have.  In a way, this is a very shallow form of thinking where we look for a way out of the pain of today.

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And fix it now!

Have you ever wanted something, even asked God for it, and then set about making it happen yourself?  I think we all have.  We want it and we want it now.  When we go ahead of God things just don’t turn out like we envisioned them.  God may have wanted that for us too, but the timing was not right.  So we move ahead of God and wind up losing that thing we wanted or realize it’s not what we really wanted at all.  Sometimes we miss the best God has for us because we won’t wait.  We go ahead and finagle answers for ourself.  God says, “Ok, if that’s how you want it…”.  He gave us free will and won’t force us to wait.  But how many more blessings would we receive, how much less pain, if we would only wait on His timing?

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Communication

When we talk to God, to others, or even our selves, it’s important to think through what we say.  We’ve discussed many ways communication can go wrong in this blog, and this is another.  Someone I know (who does this a lot) brought a project over to the house and said, “This is what I’d like to do.”  What she meant is “This is what I’d like YOU to do.”  I make it a policy not to jump in when people don’t specify what they really want (most of the time) because I’ve learned that it enables that other person to make assumptions he or she should not make.  {If you want something from me, come out and ask me.}  Sometimes speaking in generalities works fine, but when we really think we want something, it pays to get specific with yourself, with others, and with God.  This is not for God’s sake; He already knows what we really want.   Awareness of what we really ask for and what that means helps us not to get what we wished (prayed) for when that’s not what we really wanted at all.

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Take It

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When a yearning rises up inside

And pulls your heart toward

Just put it in the Master’s hands

And be in one accord.

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Those things we want and think we need

Must haves and ‘rescue me’s

Come from a desperately sinful heart

We must seek Him on our knees

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And surrender every want and need

to His amazing, well-mapped plan

For He’s the one who knows us best

And has since before time began

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We speak our thoughts and wait

For His blessings in His time

Hands clasped in supplication

as He works His plan sublime

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For we know not the future

nor what will cause us pain

So we trust Him to know us better

Our trust won’t be in vain

~*~

Angela Masters Young c 2012

Communication Busters: Mind reading

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I recently read a post by Emily Stone over at StoneWritten on the subject of mind-reading.  She gives a deep psychological post that is well worth the read.

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We have discussed this before, but it bears repeating.  I frequently have conversations with a family member along these lines.  She “knows” people are thinking ____________.  {Or she projects that ____________is going to happen. (another post to come, so you can predict that it will happen 🙂 }

No one can read another person’s mind!  No, not even you!

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Nederlands: Introvert gedrag.

Nederlands: Introvert gedrag. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are made by God to have the ability to communicate via body language and other cues to what’s going on inside a person.  However, not all of us can actually read these cues well.  As an introvert, I often sit by myself, wishing to talk to others, but waiting on them to come to me.  I’ve made progress in this area, but people tend to think I’m snobbish instead of bashful.  Are they right?  Not at all, and if they would take the time to get to know me, they would know that is far from the truth.  Did you know that even people who appear gregarious can sometimes be compensating for shyness?

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Birth order can affect human psychology, thoug...

Birth order can affect human psychology, though many supposedly formative effects of birth order are instead related to other factors. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Each of us is unique.  Generalizations (and stereotypes) may apply to some people, but they do not apply to all.  We each have different upbringings (even twins and siblings).  This happens because such things as personality, abilities, birth order, friends, extended family, and other things tend to play in to the upbringing, even when it is exactly the same otherwise.  My sister and I are only one year, one day and one month apart, but we viewed our childhood very differently.  The example I usually give is in regard to our poverty.  I saw the hand of God through it all and didn’t know I was poor.  She knew we were poor and was embarrassed by it–same circumstances, same parents, different views.

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In another circumstances, my sister then took that and asked for what she wanted and took it upon herself to make sure her needs were met.  I retired to the background, often wanting the same things, but unable (or unwilling – I thought they should read my mind!) to do so.  I spent a lot of time ‘hiding’ in corners wanting attention, my sister got it–one way or another.

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What does that have to do with it?  It helps illustrate my point.  If you knew my sister, you might think she is highly selfish.  However, she is also very generous.  Her ‘selfishness’ was an attempt to get her needs met.  After all, children are not born knowing how to get what they need (except by crying).  If a child’s needs go unmet, he or she will go the way of my sister or myself or anywhere in the continuum between.  I appeared unselfish, but that was not the case in total.  I gave way because I was used to doing it for my siblings.

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I didn’t mean to go into a childhood spiel, but there you go.  The only way to know what a person is thinking at any time is to ask.  Assumptions cause the majority of problems in the world in my book!  I won’t share the saying that goes along with what happens when we assume (you probably know it anyway).

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Linkware Freebie Image use it however you like...

Linkware Freebie Image use it however you like all I ask is a credit link to : thegoldguys.blogspot.com/ or http://www.lumaxart.com/ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My personal task right now is to practice this in my marriage.  I’m sure we’re just like other couples.  He says or does something, and I read all kinds of things into it.  In the past, I have gone off to lick my wounds and pout.  Now I say, “what did you mean by that?” and keep at it until I understand exactly what he was saying.  It’s seldom what I was hearing.  It’s amazing what happens when you actually take the time to not only listen but really hear what another says.

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Are you guilty of trying to read another’s mind?  Or, do you ask clarifying questions when in doubt?  Do you have a story to share, here or on your blog, about a time when an assumption turned into a comedy/tragedy?  On the other side of the coin, do you make sure others understand your words/actions, or do you assume they got it?

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