Posts Tagged planning

When The Shoe Fits, The Truth Hurts

An example of bar lacing on a stompy shoe

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This phrase, “When the shoe fits, the truth hurts” is something I was reflecting upon tonight after yet another really disappointing conversation. That phrase to me means that when the shoe fits, it’s going to hurt, because that shoe is on the foot that is likely kicking your behind. I know some of  you get this:)

I don’t like to use my blog to vent, and that is not what I am doing here. Ok, maybe just a little, but I am going to use myself as an example of exactly what I’m talking about. I am disappointed. To put it frankly, I am MORE than disappointed. I am seriously disappointed. While I won’t go into specifics, I think I can make my point and turn this into a lesson that may save some relationships. And parents-this is really important. (Although, it is important for us ALL…read on and I guarantee we ALL can apply this to our own busy lives.)

See, I hear this ALL the time from various people, and yes, some more than others.

I can’t, because I’m too busy…

I didn’t have time…

Something else came up…

I’ll let you know at the last minute…

I would, but…

I was too tired…

I didn’t plan on, but…

Unexpectedly, I ended up…

Someone came to town at the last minute…

All of these are nothing but the beginnings of an excuse. An excuse is really a “reason” we use to try to justify why another priority took the place of something pretty important. Who was it important to?

Maybe your kids.

Maybe your family.

Maybe your spouse or significant other.

Maybe some other person you care about.

Maybe a friend.

I’m not talking about acquaintances we hang out with. I’m talking about people who are or should be significant in our life. Let’s take parents and kids as our example. Our kids should should have priority over many things (especially when it involves visitation, holidays, etc.). And they should know it. Ok, and some are probably asking, “Aren’t some things that come up legit?” Yes, they are. And I’m not saying that they aren’t. But here’s where you have to be careful in your relationships and life: Excuses come back to kick you in the butt. If you don’t see your kids-they feel unimportant. Priority #? If you don’t spend time with your family, spouse, significant other, or any other person who should feel they are important in your life, they too will begin to feel unimportant. What happens is they start to feel like nothing more than an acquaintance instead of a priority? That is a sure-fire way to destroy anything really quick.

Don’t let your priorities start feeling as though they are becoming your options.

So, if you think you still don’t have time, you’ve got to start thinking differently before it’s too late unless the person(s) truly aren’t important to you. You might be asking how I know all of this? I can answer that in one sentence: I am a single mother, business owner,  ministry leader, community volunteer, and more, and while I can’t do it all, I do have my priorities lined up. The people in my life who are priorities know it, and there is no room for doubt. I manage a business, household, kids, and everything else in between, and I rarely use excuses, because there’s no need to unless our priorities are not set properly. Everyone needs to have their priorities mapped out correctly, so people don’t misinterpret their value. This is very important for adults. So think of how much more important it is for our kids? It’s not hard to show your special people how much you care in little more than a few minutes. How? It’s simple.

As long as I have 60 seconds:

I can make plans with my priorities first, before making plans with others.

I can write a note on a steamed up bathroom mirror to make my kids smile.

I can send a text.

I can make a phone call and say “Hello, you’re important, and I only have one minute to tell you so!”

I can mail a card.

I can order flowers.

I can pick up an extra item at the grocery store that I know is a favorite and stick a bow on it.

I can run through a drive thru window to pick up a goody on my way home.

I can fix a drink unexpectedly and hand it to them.

I can send an email.

I can send a card.

I can draw a silly note on a sticky note and leave it for later or stick it under a pillow.

I can call unexpectedly and make a quick visit.

I can leave something fun that will make them smile on their door step.

I can leave them a sweet voice mail even if I know they can’t take the call.

I can do a thousand other things to show my priorities that they are priorities even when I can’t be there or am running in five thousand different directions. How? It’s not hard. It’s not rocket science. It’s just stopping for 60 seconds, because it’s your priority to make those who you really do care about your priority. One sure way to sabotage anything is to stop doing it or flat out not do it. Kids should always be a priority. Relationships as well. I’m convinced there is time to do SOMETHING in every moment we think we just don’t have time, and doing nothing is the equivalent of just not caring. Doing nothing speaks volumes, yet doing something whispers volumes. One screams negatives and one whispers positives. Which do we think is more important? Which do you think you’d rather hear? That’s all it takes to realize how important that 60 seconds really is.

Just beware. When we do realize this is what’s happened in our relationships at any given point (and we’ve all done it at one point or another-the key is to stop it!) we’re likely to hear the truth. And it’s not going to feel good.

After all, if that shoe fits…

It is going to hurt.

(Just remember: as parents and significant others-it’s likely your children or spouse will feel it also. The sting doesn’t just affect one person.)

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Help Is A Phone Call Away

I was emailing a friend of mine whose father is having surgery tomorrow to let him know that I was praying for the family. I also wanted to know if there was anything that I could do to help out during this time of need. In the email I sent, I wanted to make sure I clarified the word help.

All too often, when there is a need or an illness, we say we want to help. The phrase, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do,” is spoken so often, that I believe that we don’t understand what we mean when we say it. Let me give an example here. Some individuals will say it with no intention of doing anything other than sending flowers and a get well card. And others will offer prayers, a casserole to be frozen, or a visit after the surgery. There is nothing wrong with any of these at all. They are all forms of help and they all play a role.

The best way to offer help is to clarify how we can help an individual, because help does take on so many forms. It is helpful to send flowers and get well wishes. It is helpful to have a few visitors, although this really should be reserved for family and a few close friends. It is beneficial to have a few casseroles frozen for quick meals during recovery time. But, what about the rest of the stuff that needs attention that few people think of?

It might be helpful:

If someone could run errands
Feed the pets
Take the trash out
Gather the mail and watch for time sensitive materials
Mow the yard
Do a load or two of laundry
Get the kids to school or pick them up
Babysit
Water plants or a garden
Run for prescriptions
Pick up carry out or have a pizza delivered

Sometimes the help is not just needed by the individual who is ill or having surgery. Sometimes the help is a blessing to the other family members who are assisting the recovering person. Imagine welcoming relief for a frazzled wife who is helping her spouse recover after surgery while trying to manage the kids and house alone. Sometimes it’s the family who can use the extra assistance while they provide care and support to the recovering individual.

So the next time you hear yourself say, “Let me know if there is anything I can do,” be sure to clarify how you are willing to help. You might be the one person they contact when they need a flower removal crew for all the persons who helped by sending the flowers.

Tip: It is essential that the family also not be bombarded with help. To eliminate stress, it is best to establish one person in or close to the family as the “go to” person for updates and inquiries on the needs of the family. Consider this person a project manager. Providing that person with a list of phone numbers for people who can run errands, babysit, cook, clean, and mow will give them all the information they need to call on individuals for help if it is needed. It will allow the family to maintain peace of mind while knowing that all the help they could possibly need is one phone call away.

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