Dear World

Dear World,

Be kind, please. I’m talking to you. Yes, you. At the grocery store. In the parking lot. In the drive-through. Even behind the counter. And you, especially, behind the desktop and holding that cellphone while tippy tapping out that post or comment attacking your fellow neighbor, American, and fellow humans across the seas. Be kind.

This virus is not just a physical ailment. It is not just COVID-19. It’s a mental virus and a social virus. It’s causing us to attack each other on politics, parenting, job status, religion, race, and culture. It’s got so many people scared and angry that it’s become a free-for-all. We are throwing everything we can at each other and seeing what sticks.

Please stop fighting a political war with your friends, family, and strangers over whether or not the Democrats or Republicans are making things worse for us. In case you are oblivious to this – neither side is actually good. They are both corrupt. Each side has its own agendas and, get this – they have a common agenda too – and it’s not looking out for me and you. So please stop doing their bidding. Be kind.

Parents and teachers, please stop being snippy. I’m sure some of you are relishing the fact that many parents are now stuck at home with their kids all day and are finally realizing what little hellions they’ve raised. There’s no need to rub it in. Trust me they are feeling it. Parents, stop taking your anger out on others over being home all day with your kids. They are your kids. It is your responsibility to take care of them and teach them how to behave. You may not be a math whiz or scientist. You’re not going to be able to teach them every subject at home just like the teachers, and that’s okay right now. Stop beating yourself up. Stop beating other parents up for their perfect post on crafting with the kiddos and just parent your kids. Give them structure and love and don’t make them feel like a burden right now. They will remember how you handled this time. Be kind.

Workers, both current and recently unemployed, stop arguing over who is essential or not. Stop putting other professions down although some have shown to be less needed to survive. Once the quarantines are lifted we will flock back to certain stores, restaurants, and services showing how much we really missed them. And once we do let’s not take the smaller ones for granted anymore because some of them aren’t going to survive this down time. So please be kind.

Religious or not, stop mocking religions. Fellow Christians, I’m looking at you first. I see you name-calling and angrily debating others over politics, religion, and even race during this crisis. We cannot fully love with hearts fueled by anger. Others, please stop asking “why doesn’t your God make this vanish,” or “where’s your God now?” We know where our God is and where our faith stands, even when we don’t understand what’s happening. Be kind.

Americans stop the race arguments. It does not help anything. It just adds fuel to the fire. Stop bashing other countries and cultures for how they are handling this. If you are reading this from another country, please stop hating us and wishing for us to get it worse because you don’t like our American president or American culture. A society that is scared and divided because they are blaming each other and taking their anger out on each other is easier to control locally, regionally, nationally, and worldwide. So please knock it off. We are all humans. Be kind.

Please, World, be kind.

xoxo,

Ash

May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, oh Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Psalms 19:14

Known by How We Love?

Known by How We Love?

They will know we are His by how we love. Really?

There are Christians today that would rather tell people that they love Jesus than tell people they are a Christian. We put “Jesus Lover” on our profiles in place of the “Christian” label. Why? Because today Christians are not known by how they love. Media shows certain Christian groups protesting various causes in anger. It shows Christians being judgmental, rude, and exclusive. They show the worst of us acting the opposite of Christian.

So much damage has been done that to many people the word Christian is becoming synonymous with intolerance, hatefulness, and self-righteousness. Instead of being known by how we love, we are known by how we hate.

How’s that for a slap in the face?

“But,” you say, “we’re not all like this.”

You’re right. We’re not. However, society today loves to slap that label on the whole lot when somebody causes a stir, especially when it comes to the media. The gun owners get accused of being crazy rednecks. The Democrats get accused of being socialists. The Republicans get accused of being hate-mongers. Unfortunately, those who have control are going to portray certain groups however they want the public to view them.

We may not be able to change how the media portrays us as long as there are some out there acting like fools in the name of Christanity, but we can still have an impact on a local level and an individual level.

First of all, let’s remember we need to love each other. If we can’t love our fellow Christians, then how can we love those who don’t know Jesus? How we treat each other is important. If we’re fighting within the church, we can’t expect others to want to be a part of that.

We need to love on social media. You can state an opinion or disagree with someone without being hateful. I’ve seen fellow Christians, who I know personally, attack others in comments while trying to teach someone something from the Bible. I really want to ask: What in the world do you think you are doing? Do you actually think that you can bring someone closer to Jesus by attacking them publicly, telling them they are wrong or ignorant? All you showed them was a hateful Christian. Congratulations.

Sometimes we don’t realize how unloving we are being until someone tells us or shows us. I was so snappy in my office job that a sales rep for the company once told me that some co-workers from another department were afraid to transfer his calls and customers to me because I usually had something to snap about. I treated them like I didn’t have time or didn’t want to help. I called myself a Christian and couldn’t even be loving towards my co-workers. It hit me being told that I treated them like that. I didn’t realize I was coming across that way. I just wanted to get my work done.

Pay attention to how you treat others in general.

According to 1 Corinthians 13, love is being patient and kind. Love is not proud or boastful. It is not rude or easily angered. Calling people names is not love. Shouting at people is not love. Attacking people on social media is not love. Condemning someone for how they choose to live is not showing love.

Our job is not to judge how someone else will spend eternity. We have the Bible for instructions on how to live. Some choose to interpret it differently than others. We have the free will to make our own choices, and how we are ultimately judged for those choices is between us and God, not us and others. My job is to love. Your job is to love. As Christians, our job is to show we belong to Jesus by how we love.

Love is a fruit of the Spirit. If you are struggling with this, then you need to get in tune with the Spirit. Read your Bible. Spend time in prayer and in worship. If you aren’t staying close with God, the fruits of the Spirit can begin to spoil within you. Don’t let love become a rotten fruit.

Be brave!

Be blessed!

Be known for how you love!

xoxo

Ash

Loving Others in General (Love Series – Part 3)

Loving Others in General (Love Series – Part 3)

We’ve talked about ways to love your spouse better and ways to love your friends. Now it’s time for loving others in general, like the general public and your coworkers.

Be Slow to Anger – We have become too accustomed in this fast-paced world now to expect to be able to get what we want when we want it. Lord help us if we have to wait 5 extra seconds for something or someone, lest we get hot-headed. Really! That’s how impatient society is now. People are quick to anger when dealing with traffic, waiting in the checkout line, or sitting in a drive-thru. Don’t get angry at people when you don’t get what you want when you want it. Show love by being slow to anger.

Be Mature – “That jerk cut me off! I’ll show him!” or “Throw me under the bus at work… you just wait! I’ll make you look bad!” Sound familiar? The need to retaliate is a fleshly desire. And don’t think for one hot second that I don’t know how much of a struggle this is. Trust me, sister. I know! It’s difficult to choose love over justice. It takes strength to choose love over retaliation. We need to do it though and be mature.

Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. Romans 12:17-20

Offer Help – Let’s not let basic courtesies fade away. Open the door for someone. Hold the elevator for the next person. Let someone in front of you. Let the other person have the parking spot instead of rushing into it first. Help a coworker finish a project.

Jesus came to serve, not to be served. Show love by helping others.

Smile – I’ve talked about this before, but I feel strongly enough about it to mention it again. Smiling can go a long way in someone’s day. Smile at others. We often don’t realize how we look when walking through a store or standing in line. Pay attention next time, and you’ll most likely see a lot of scowling faces or just “bleh” expressions. Pay attention to your expression. Smile more in general and you’ll come across as a nicer person. It may even be infectious! So, love others by smiling!

I’ve got a surprise for you mommas next week! Stay tuned! And if you’re not already, SUBSCRIBE TO MY TRIBE below so you don’t miss the next post!

Be loving!

Be brave!

Be blessed!

xoxo

Ash

Loving Your Friends (Love Series – Part 2)

Loving Your Friends (Love Series – Part 2)

Some people expect friendships to just be easy. There’s a problem with that. Friendships are a type of relationship too, and relationships have their ups and downs. The closer you are with a friend, the more the relationship will be similar to that of a marriage. There’s give and take. You’ve got to put in some effort to keep the relationship going. So, don’t expect all your friendships to just be easy peasy.

Here are some reminders on how you can be a more loving friend.

Don’t overanalyze – In today’s text crazy social media world, we tend to spend more electronic time with people than actual physical face time. When messaging someone we miss out on a few social cues like tone of voice and body language. Sure, we have a plethora of emojis to choose from to try to convey the mood or tone of the message, but even those don’t always come out right or get interpreted the way you intend. Remember this before being accusatory or getting upset with the way a friend responded.

Also, don’t overanalyze when a friend doesn’t respond right away, even if it shows that the message has been seen. There are times when I “see” the message, but I’m currently in the middle of something else and don’t have time to respond at that moment. Sometimes I’m trying to finish something else, and I accidentally open a message I wasn’t ready to read yet. If someone doesn’t answer you right away, it doesn’t always mean she’s trying to avoid you. She just might need a hot minute to finish something else before responding.  So, don’t overanalyze.

Give grace –Have you ever had moments where you’ve thought, if she was really a good friend, she wouldn’t do that to me? I have. You know what I say to that? – Are you perfect? Nope. Didn’t think so.

I don’t care if she’s been your best friend for 5 months or 5 years, don’t be so quick to throw a friendship out when you get hurt. People make mistakes. You’re going to have disagreements and misunderstandings, especially the longer you are friends. Give grace.

Listen – Sometimes we all just need someone to listen. It feels good just to get out some feelings without expecting the person to offer a solution. Try to listen more and interrupt less. Also, pay attention while listening. Put the phone down and be present with your friend.

Make time – I think one of the best ways to love a friend is to give them your time. Look sister, I know you may be busy. We can all use that excuse. Yes, I said excuse because that’s what it is. We all have things to do, and outside of working and sleeping we choose what to do with the rest of our time. I know moms with several kids that still make time for friends. It may be difficult, but if you truly want some friend time, you’ll make it happen.

Let’s try to stop using the phrase “we need to get together soon” and start saying things like“hey girl, what are you doing next Tuesday…” When you continue to tell someone you want to get to together but neglect to put actual plans in place, the words lose their meaning. Love you friends and follow through by making time for them.

If you want better friends, try being a better friend!

Be brave!

Be blessed!

xoxo

Ash

Up next, Loving Strangers. Be sure to Subscribe to my Tribe below so you don’t miss any posts!

4 Ways to Love Your Husband Better (Love Series – Part 1)

4 Ways to Love Your Husband Better (Love Series – Part 1)

I know it’s cliché to write about love during the month of love, but hey, when in Rome…

I’m going to embrace it and write about love the entire month. We’ll start with loving your husband. Later on, I’ll be covering love in friendships, loving strangers, and maybe even loving your children. So, make sure you subscribe to my TRIBE below to stay tuned in for the Love Series.

Here are 4 ways to love your husband better:

1. Don’t sweat the small stuff

The small stuff used to drive me crazy: dirty socks, dirty boots, wet towels, etc. I used to get so tired of picking these items up or asking him to do it. Then one day, I smiled at a can of shaving cream, and it changed my perspective.

Why get upset over the little things? Smile because you have a husband who works hard in those dirty boots you are putting away. Smile because you like that clean-shaven look of his even though the shaving cream is still sitting out. Smile because you never know if there will come a day when you’ll miss those things. If you lost your husband, would the number of dirty socks you picked up over the years really matter anymore?

Don’t sweat the small stuff. Just smile.

2. Let go of grudges

Holding a grudge was once a strong ability of mine. Have you ever given your husband the silent treatment? I have. Too many times to count. Do you know what it accomplished each time? Nothing (or at least nothing good).

Holding a grudge generally hurts you more than the person you are punishing. So just quit doing it. Speak your peace and move on. Sulking around the house, giving silent treatments, or refusing to do things for him (like laundry or cooking) is just silly. Let go of the grudges.

3. Mind your tone

I’ve been known to struggle with my caustic tone. I’ve improved a lot over the years, but occasionally my husband will remind me to watch how I am speaking. He says it’s not about what I’m saying but how I’m saying it.

How do you speak to your husband? Do you speak in a soft tone or a harsh one? Do you kindly ask him to take care of something or demand it?

“Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones.” Proverbs 16:24

So, mind your tone.

4. Be a teammate!

You and your husband are on the same team. What do teammates do? They work together. They assist each other. They cheer each other on. They pick up the slack when one may be falling behind.

It’s never meant to be you against him. It’s you and him against the struggles we all face in this world. Support him on the bad days. Encourage him on the good days. And work towards goals together. Be the best teammate you can be!

Love your husband better!

Be brave!

Be blessed!

xoxo

Ash