So today I’m breaking down Katy’s “small” experience with respect. I stand back in amazement at what God can do in the “small” things. Luke 16:10 tells us, “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.” These small thought adjustments and tiny behavior changes are what make, over time, a life rich and overflowing with blessing. J Let’s go back to Katy’s story…
People often say to me “you must have a lot of patience” when they find out that our family has 9 blessings. Maybe on the patience scale I have more than some but mostly I am hoping that Father God continues to be patient with me. (Notice her humble attitude and focus on God) My Knight (see Dare 23) and I have a blended family. 18 months ago we joined my 6 with his 3 and began a new phase in life. Just a few months later I joined a small group of ladies (She’s “doing hard things” in community, which is what God wants – not that we walk alone, but rather arm in arm, together) in my church to tackle The Respect Dare, my life has been changed but I have so much more to learn.
(And again the humble attitude – and I’m right there with her learning!)
Late last week we realized that our weekend was going to be kid-free! Rare occasion that it is, my sweet man whispered into my ear to not make plans for the weekend. This usually means that he is going to whisk me away to some exciting adventure. Friday morning I had breakfast with a friend from church, as I was leaving I mentioned our weekend sans kids and she very generously offered us her condo in the mountains. I was thrilled to be the one planning the excitement and he was happy to let me do so. (Even though her husband wasn’t leading the retreat, she saw God’s gift and accepted) We researched the town and started getting really excited.(Then she involved her husband in the process, thus making the enthusiasm contagious) 2 hours later his ex-wife called to say she was sick and would not be getting the children for the weekend.
This was the perfect opportunity to respect my Knight. But, his reaction to the change in plans crushed me. :'( He was thrilled that his children were staying home, because he is a GREAT Dad he was looking forward to the extra time to love on his children. I was short with him on the phone, choosing to not even communicate with him for several hours. I thought of the pretty “things” I had packed (see Dare 28) and I was angry. (Honestly, I love her transparency. If you go to Israel, you will see that life is lived in the wilderness, that the “green pastures” are sparsely placed tuffs of grass – we are meant to do life in the middle of difficulty, and occasionally get respite, not the other way around.) I went for a walk, and I stewed. I tried to pray and I was distracted. I knew my heart was in the wrong place but I couldn’t seem to let go of his excitement about the chi ldren, especially since our special plans were being cancelled. I wish I could say that I pulled out my Bible or even my Respect Dare book (for they both held the answer) – instead I allowed my emotions to run the show. (Knowing that she is just as human as you and I are lets me know this is doable for me, too. As women, we buy the lie of the culture (Christian and otherwise) that we need to “have it all together” but really, we’re all just a mess, our hearts are black, and we are sinful. We need to be real with our girlfriends, lest we create distance between us by being too “perfect.” We can then live our lives for the Audience of One, instead of the approval of man.) By the time he arrived home from work the Holy Spirit had started knocking on my closed heart (she’s teachable – NOT stubborn, and then get’s a Word from our Father) and I remembered …. Dare 8
Philippians 1:9-11 …that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve the things that are excellent, that you may be sincere and without offense until the day of Christ, being filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
I remembered that our time with these children is precious and never enough. I remembered that every moment with my Knight is a gift, that he makes me feel like a princess whether we are conquering the mountains or playing a game with our kids. I remembered the reasons that I married him: Christ is first in his life, he is committed to family, he asks me how he should love me and he is above all selfless. My selfishness was very apparent in this light. I apologized quickly, he accepted and forgave and our evening continued. (She saw things the way God does. She was shown, by the Spirit, what was true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, praiseworthy and excellent (Phil 4:8) because she was more about the Father’s business than her own disappointment. She sought forgiveness for her sin – and repented by changing her attitude and behavior.)
Grace, that gift that is so undeserved, was given quickly as the children’s Mom was able to get the children. (And God rewarded them tangibly – which sometimes happens) I made a small dinner and sat down with my Knight. I was honest with him about my feelings; I told him of my jealousy, that he had chosen his children over me. (She lived out Matthew 18, not emotionally vomiting all over him, but in a calm way, discussing when she had emotional control. She was NOT a doormat. She was concise and brief about her pain, but truthful.) He, in turn, told me that he trusted that my heart would change all day and he apologized for not expressing his own disappointment. He also pointed out that He is growing closer to God and he is trying to accept that God has a purpose for every little thing in our lives (Jeremiah 29:11). If God wants us home with our children instead of away together then we will be blessed in that time. He is so right and I am humbled to have such an amazing Godly man as my leader. (She learned something, as did we, as did he. And she received another gift – what wife doesn’t deeply want her husband pursuing God and growing closer to Him? Her husband had the right perspective, and he learned that even though our perspective is right, we still need to have empathy for those who are hurting and disappointed. We also need to communicate our own disappointment; otherwise people won’t know how we feel. Katy’s wise way of handling this gave her husband an opportunity to do that, and cleared up a misunderstanding. Most men do not naturally communicate their feelings well, nor do they usually have great empathy for how others may experience a situation – when our feelings are hurt, we need to ask ourselves a couple of questions:
- What is true here?
- How do You see this, Lord?
- Am I being selfish?
- Is it possible there is something I do not know?
This is what applied grace looks like in the middle of conflict. He did this for us – on a much grander scale, and undeservedly so. Remember, you cannot trust your feelings – they are easily escalated by our own selfish nature and that other guy. Often, if we will but take positive action and do these things, a “small” situation will get resolved more easily, and avoid turning into a “big” problem. Unresolved conflict creates distance and resentment in relationships. Poorly resolved conflict does the same. Conflict, when resolved well creates more intimacy, as we saw in the above “small” story. Thank you again, Katy! ~Nina
Can I also take a moment to ask a favor? Will you please pray for our team as we work hard during a super busy time of the year dealing with unexpected but allowed adversities as the book launch comes near?
We have just a little over a week before the book will be in retail outlets everywhere! J Thanks so much! J
Love to you! So thankful you are on the journey with us! J Dare you to not let a “small” thing turn into a “big” one by avoiding the conflict. Double dog dare you to “follow” the blog or share and be a Titus influencer in your world. We’re all called to it. 😉
Love to you,