Our Give-Away for Today!
Thunder Dog: The True Story of a Blind Man, His Guide Dog, and the Triumph of Trust at Ground Zero
This New York Times Best Seller is the story of a man blind from birth who triumphed over adversity throughout his life. His hard won survival skills and his feisty can-do spirit prepared him to survive the World Trade Center attacks in a 78-story stairwell descent with his guide dog, Roselle.
Michael’s blindness didn’t stop him from shocking the neighbors by riding his bicycle through the streets of Palmdale, California as a child. On September 11, his blindness became an asset as he helped others during the worst terrorist attack ever on American soil.
Yet, there’s more. “The real story, in my mind, isn’t how I got out of the World Trade Center,” said Michael. “It’s how I got there in the first place.”
Susy Flory grew up on the back of a quarter horse in Northern California, spent time as a journalist and high school teacher, then in 2004 started writing full time for publications such as Focus on the Family, Guideposts Books, In Touch, Praise & Coffee, Today’s Christian, and Today’s Christian Woman.
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For all the dozens of issues I struggle with (and I’ll try to say this modestly), I do not have trust issues.
I trust people to mess up. Every time.
(Okay, okay, I’m switching my bracelet!)
MY Way or…
In her blog post “I Know Things Should Be Done a Certain Way,” Patty Newbold describes an engaged woman who has a hard time trusting her fiance: “One of the things that makes it difficult to trust him is that, as she puts it, ‘[I] know things should be done a certain way to get them done correctly.’
Ah, don't we all?
Our definition of 'correctly' is one of our most gigantic impediments to knowing we are loved, respected, and cared for.”
In January, the Holy Spirit decided I was ready to be whacked up-side the head with (yet another) a unflattering truth about myself:
After taking some painful (but long over-due!) steps to extract my over-involved self from key areas of my almost 21-year-old daughter’s life, I quickly discovered hers wasn’t the only life I was trying to run.
I meddle in my husband’s life.
Waaaay more than I realized.
Don't “Help” Me!
The oh-so-risky prayer –“Lord, open my eyes to what I’m doing that needs to change!” – had scarcely left my lips when it was answered.
Daniel came home from Safeway, beaming with pride. He’d grabbed the grocery list off the refrigerator and done the shopping for me.
“Now you don’t have to do it!” he said, no doubt hoping for a positive response.
Perhaps, oh, gratitude.
As in “I can’t believe I have such a thoughtful husband that he sacrifices his own time to bear one of my burdens!” followed by a hug.
I wasn’t grateful.
I was mad that he’d gone without telling me. He’d robbed of my right to make sure he did it right!
Counting the Cost
I scanned the receipt (which he’d left on my desk rather than doing what he preferred–shoving in his shirt pocket and forgetting!) searching for evidence to build my case.
Just as I suspected.
“Oh no,” I gasped, “You paid $5.99 for the blah-blahs? Blah-blahs are only $3.49 at Target! And you bought eight blah-blahs for $2.50 too much each?”
If Daniel’s face fell, which I’m sure it did, I didn’t see it.
I was too busy proving – once again! – that having my way is more important to me than receiving (or giving) love, respect, and care.
The Value of Trust
8 x $2.50 = $20.00.
Nothing to sneeze at.
But trust me: my response was not motivated by a Spirit conviction about stewardship.
If anything, I was feeling guilty for spending $… er … an undisclosed amount at Starbucks that same week. (Let’s just say I had to squint hard to see around the beam in my eye and focus on the specks on that receipt.)
I also know that marriage counseling costs way more than $20.00.
And – thanks to a counselor who pointed out to me over a year ago, “Isn’t it amazing how he still tries to make you happy after 25 years?” – I know Daniel is God’s greatest earthly blessing in my life.
When I meddle in his choices, I lose so much more than $20.00.
I throw away a priceless gift that can be mine for the cost of silence: trust.
Miss-Trust = Love-Less
From Patty again: “While you tap your toe, impatiently waiting for [the other person] to adopt your standards instead of noticing how his or her standards make your life better in some other way, you miss out on love.
...Your expectation that [the other person will always meet your standards] is premeditated resentment.
The thing you need to learn to trust [the other person] will do is love you. That's a lot easier when you grow aware of the ways he or she shows love that have nothing at all to do with what you think you know about the certain way things should be done.”
Note: I’m not talking about staying in an abusive relationship. I’m not talking about being a doormat to someone who consistently betrays trust on moral issues.
I am talking about daily ordinaries – like the Safeway receipt – over which I can choose between “righteous” indignation...
...or acceptance and compassion for the heart my husband is offering me.
(And, yes, amazement that after 25 years, he’s still trying to make me happy!)
(Can't see the image? Click here to download Isaiah 26:3-4)
To paraphrase Patty, I’m finding that my definition of “correctly” is one of my most gigantic impediments to knowing I am loved and cared for by God.
My focus needs to be on God.
The more I let go of my beliefs “about the certain ways things should be done”…the more I “grow aware of the ways [He] shows love.”
Try This Today: Add "Meddling" to the Challenge, just for today. (Notice any connection between unnecessary meddling and complaining, criticizing, gossiping, and/or sarcasm?)
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To enter today’s drawing, leave a comment
- responding to today’s blog, and/or
- sharing your Day #1-14 experience of replacing “baditude” with God’s word and gratitude, and/or
- about anything else on your heart!
Drawing winners 6-10 will be announced soon!
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(Catch up on any "Warm-Up Week" Blog Posts!)