Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

3.06.2012

Looking for Bothers

{Stay tuned to the end for the giveaway winners!}

Every Sunday, after arriving at church, I would set my purse, Bible, notebook, and coat on an as-of-yet-unclaimed seat in our family's row. Then I would be off to get out and tune my violin and play during the worship service. Inevitably, after putting away my instrument and tiptoeing up to my seat just as the sermon began, I would find that some other family member had innocently set my things on the floor and sat on my seat. And inexplicably, my Bible would be at one end of the row and my coat at another end, while I tried to climb over ankles and knees to reach the empty seat, collecting my possessions as I went. Once I finally plopped into my seat, my face was red not only from embarrassment, but also from agitation.

I inwardly fidgeted and fumed, wondering why the same scenario had to be repeated week after week--why my family could not just clue in and stop sitting in a seat with my belongings already placed there! Looking back, I highly doubt this happened every week, but when I was in the jungle of irritation, every vine and tree looked like an annoyance to me.

Then one week, the light bulb came on. As I considered berating my family for yet again scattering my Bible and purse far and wide, I realized a genius innovation. From then on, I have always kept my things in the back of the church with my violin. At the end of the worship service, I pick them up after putting away my violin, and happily go to whatever seat my family has left for me.

"A fool’s wrath is known at once,
But a prudent man covers shame."
Proverbs 12:16


This has sparked a major change in how I deal with bothers in my life. Many times, God places these exasperations in my path to bring me to a greater maturity and to expand my character growth (obviously, my reaction to the Sunday service situation was immature and sinful). Certainly I am not supposed to wiggle out of these "opportunities" and take the easy path of eliminating them. However, as I have discovered more than once since this first realization, finding an effective solution to irksome circumstances usually requires that I turn the binoculars off my neighbor and use them on myself, only backwards, so that I can actually fit every flaw in the lens. 


Photo Credit

A pet peeve of mine--that is, a cherished and much beloved means of being harassed--used to be the people who lick their fingers. Have you ever noticed the prevalence of this action? Responsible for the spread of colds, the flu, whooping cough, chicken pox, and I'm sure heartburn, broken limbs, and poverty, finger-licking can be observed in people counting out money, turning pages of a book, eating a particularly delicious meal, or pulling out paper bags. I made a nuisance of myself reminding people of their germ-spreading habit, and I'm afraid my family got the benefit of the bulk of my rebukes. They annoyed me, I annoyed them, and suddenly, life was rather annoying.

That is, until I realized that I was choosing to be disturbed. I adopted a relatively small problem and nurtured it into a full-grown issue. There are so many more important concerns--was it really worth the time and effort (not to mention emotions) to continue the Anti-spit Campaign? So I quietly resigned from my self-appointed position as founder and president; for awhile, this resignation involved much tongue-biting and mental dialogue. Lately, however, I find I am not even nettled by the saliva-spreading habits of others.

Love your family, friends, and enemies: this includes covering their faults in love and choosing not to be annoyed. So join me in brightening your corner by choosing not to be vexed, by overlooking the blunders of others, and by examining your role in the recurring nuisances of life.

And now onto our anniversary giveaway winners. Elizabeth, you won the $10 gift certificate to Sacred Audio, and Savannah, you won Opening a Chestnut Burr! We have Elizabeth's information. Savannah, please comment within 48 hours with your mailing address, or we will draw a new winner. (Your comment will not be published.) Congratulations, and thanks to everyone who entered!



Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


Photograph Credit: Bethan. Used by permission under the Creative Commons License.

 

7 comments:

  1. Excellent post, Mikayla! I needed this today. :)

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  2. Oh My!! Yeah!!!!

    Thank you!!!

    Oh and excellent post. I needed that!

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  3. Great post, Mikaela! I love how you approached this subject with transparency and humor. This post goes along well with a book I am reading, "Telling Yourself the Truth." Just yesterday I read about how no one forces us to behave or react in a certain way, we always have a choice in how we respond to others.

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  4. Kaylyn--thank you! I find this topic is one I can always use a reminder in, so I'm glad it helped you as well.

    Elizabeth--congrats! ;-)

    Ruthie--thank you, Ruthie. That book sounds excellent, if somewhat painful. How do you manage to find such intriguing books even in Africa?

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  5. Thanks! I needed that reminder! What a blessing!

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  6. Great post! It is so easy to get wrapped up in "self" and forget "others". Thanks for the reminder- it was beautifully written, and I appreciated your honesty in it.
    Blessings!
    Rebecca

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  7. Thanks Rebecca--I always love hearing from our readers! What you wrote reminded me of something my Mama always says--"the world does not revolve around you!" ;-) Obviously, this has been a lesson I've needed to learn since the time I was small. While I may never perfect it, Lord-willing, I'm "getting" it!

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