Monthly Archives: February 2016

Stuff ~ A Guest Post by Brooke Perry

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{I have known Brooke Perry since she was a little girl. Her father and I were friends many years ago before he passed away from cancer. Since I’m in Africa this week, I asked Brooke to write this post about a major change in her life. This blog is full of great insight. Enjoy! You can check out her blog here.}

Just about a week ago I watched everything I own be put into a 6’x7’x8’ metal box and be driven away on the bed of a truck.

And I don’t miss any of it.

Knowing I wouldn’t see any of it for at least two weeks I kept waiting for that feeling to rise up of regret or lack or emptiness, but I’m still waiting.

I love to fly, even when the flight is like the one I’m on as I write this. This flight has so much turbulence that I don’t even think I’m allowed to have my computer out right now, but seeing as how the flight attendants aren’t even allowed to walk around still 45 minutes into this flight, I think I’m safe from their reprimand. Safe from crashing however is yet to be determined…If you’re reading this, just know I survived.

In nine days I will be boarding another plane, but this time I will be on a one-way trip to Washington DC all the way from my home outside of Portland, OR. I was born and raised in the NW, and other than a 10-month stint in sunny San Diego and as much international travel as I’ve been able to shove into my 31 years of life, I have always lived in the NW, and I have always loved it.

My childhood is here, my friends are here, my family is here, my church is here, and everything I have known that has shaped me into who I am today is here.

And in just a mere nine days from writing this post I will not be here.

Due to the gentle but firm prompting from my grandpa and parents, I decided against driving a U-Haul truck across the country. My step-dad reminded me that maybe I don’t need that much adventure, especially in February weather, when he asked me, “isn’t moving across the country enough adventure already?”. Touché Brad, touché.

So I went with my logical head instead of my dreamy heart—this time—and listened. So I decided to ship my stuff instead.

Let me just tell you right now, even with my limited amount of stuff, that is not a cheap option! Purging was definitely next on my to-do list after looking at my budget, so I started giving away or selling pretty much anything I could bare to part with. There were definitely things that were easier to part with than others, but it became a quite cleansing process.

Even with all of the purging, the day the truck came to deliver the empty metal container I stood there feeling a bit discouraged not knowing how on earth all of the remaining pieces of stuff would ever fit into a space that looked so small. I started to quickly decide what other stuff I could actually part with. In the end we made it all fit thanks to some good friends with amazing tetris-like skills.

I was very thankful that they were able to fit it all, but in the end, as I stood there and watched it drive away the next day I couldn’t help but feel as if I would be just fine if I never saw any of it again.

That was my tangible stuff. The heart stuff that I’m deciding whether to take with me or leave behind however, now that’s a much harder purge to make.

This move has been a catalyst in my life for facing the previously-avoidable-now-turned-unavoidable-stuff.

I’ve been on a journey in this process of ridding my own heart of a lot of the unnecessary intangible stuff, and that is where the real cleansing has begun to take place.

The real question for me has become, what am I holding onto in my heart that is not meant to fit in that relatively small box of necessities that is making this next move with me?

What is unhealthy for me that it is time to purge?

I have realized in this move how blessed I am with relationships in my life, and yet I still allow myself to hold onto doubt and resentment and bitterness toward God for things yet unseen in my life that I have prayed for. Whether it’s for my future husband, for my healing—emotionally, spiritually and physically—or for the myriad of other things that I try and control instead of trusting God with fully.

For the most part I was completely in control with the purging of my possessions, however the purging of the heart stuff? Ya, that job has got to be given completely to God. To give Him control of purging and deciding what’s junk and what gets to go with me is not an easy thing to do.

It’s one thing to proclaim that I trust God and His heart and plan for me, but it’s a whole other thing to be able to get to a place where I could watch a lot of my emotional stuff drive away and say to God, “I would still be whole in you even if I never saw any of those unanswered prayers come to life”

Stuff 4 FallingWoah, that’s even hard to type.

But I’m determined to only type words on a screen that I’m willing to live out. So that’s what I’m doing. I am here, on this bumpy plane, asking God for an increase in my faith. This move is not simply about embarking on a new adventure. It definitely is about what He’s moving me forward into, but it’s also just as much about what I’m willing to leave behind. Perspective is a very healing thing, and although the only thing I can see outside of the plane right now is white fog, my heart is feeling clearer than ever.

What do you need to allow God to purge you of? Seatbelt signs are on, it will be a rough ride at times, but will you commit to trusting God with me on this incredible invitation to freedom?

It’s time to purge the stuff.

You’re not alone.

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The Problem with Relational “Junk Drawers” (and What to Do with Those People Who Baffle or Bother You!)

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Junk Drawers TitleJunk drawers. We all have them. Maybe yours is in a desk or somewhere in the garage or kitchen. Junk drawers are fairly common.

Let me tell you why I’m writing about those hidden places filled with odds and ends, lest you think I’m about to rant about something inconsequential.

I’m using your physical junk drawer as a representation of a relational junk drawer you probably have in your life.

The relational one is the place where we put the people who baffle, annoy, irritate, or scare us. It’s that place in your heart where you stow people you can’t get out of your life, but whom you’d rather not deal with at the moment—or ever.

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Why do we have physical junk drawers?

  • It’s the spot where we put something when we don’t know where else to put it.

  • It’s the spot where we hide stuff because we like to appear neat and orderly on the outside.

  • It’s the spot where we leave items because it’s easier to throw something in a drawer than it is to put it in its proper place. In other words, we’re a bit lazy at times.

Why do we have relational junk drawers?

  • It’s the dark place in our hearts where we stuff people when we don’t know how to deal with their quirks or shortcomings.

  • It’s the scary place in our soul where we hide our true feelings out of fear of rejection or conflict.

  • It’s the procrastinating and dishonest place in our minds where we tell ourselves, “I’ll deal with him or her tomorrow.”

Here are the problems with relational junk drawers:

  • People are not junk. They are valuable beings created in the image of God. All people. Regardless of how difficult a relationship is, you must keep at it because people matter and relationships matter.

  • When it comes to people, out of sight does not necessarily mean out of mind. Stuffing is never the path to relational success. (Have you noticed that people tend to crawl out of the “drawers” we stuff them into?) Ignoring a problem or not being honest with a person doesn’t solve anything. Like your momma told you when you were eight, “Honesty is always the best policy.” We need to be straightforward with people and honest with ourselves.

  • You shouldn’t be lazy in your relationships. It might be easier to ignore a person who bothers or scares you, but that’s not the path to personal or relational health. Relationships are work. Hard work.

So who came to mind a minute ago as you read this blog?

Who in your life, despite your best efforts to run from them, is impossible to avoid?

Who makes your skin crawl and your blood pressure rise whenever they call?

Maybe it’s time to face the junk in your heart and the stuff hidden and unspoken in your relationship with that person.

Living with fear or tension or undercurrents of strife isn’t good for you or anybody else.

Go ahead and make some time to open the drawer and face the person you’ve been avoiding. Stop hiding or running from that relationship. Don’t put off until tomorrow what is best dealt with today. Embrace its challenges and grow.

It might be difficult. It might get ugly. But whether it ends well or not, it’s the right thing to do, and in your gut you know it.

Open rebuke is better
    than hidden love.

Proverbs 27:5 (VOICE)

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12 Responses to The Problem with Relational “Junk Drawers” (and What to Do with Those People Who Baffle or Bother You!)

  1. Bam! Hit me on the head, because it is true. We can easily put someone in a “junk” drawer because it is better than deal with them again and again and again. Good Words Kurt.

    • Hi,
      Unfortunately, sometimes it is the people closest to us (like parents, spouse, or another family member). I would encourage you to seek professional help from a counselor and/or to get some advice from a pastor. Honesty, is always the best policy, but how to navigate those tough relationships often takes support from others. Praying for you…

  2. Over the years, I have found that when people baffle, bug or bore me, it is usually something that requires acknowledgement, repentance, or a change of attitude in me, myself and I FIRST, before I do more damage with unsolicited open rebuke. I can’t fix myself – least of all the other person. Best to pray for them and allow the Holy Spirit to work on me and them! We’re all a work in progress. Great post!

Why RUDE and CRUDE are not the new COOL! (And three ways to change the way you talk.)

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Words Matter Girl

Words matter.

Of course, so do thoughts and actions, but what’s in our hearts always makes its way to our mouths. You can tell a lot about a person’s character by simply listening to his or her words.

Jerks typically are those calling other people jerks.

Arrogant people sound cocky.

Broken and weak words reveal an insecure soul.

Our words are like the weather. You don’t need an app; just look outside. When it comes to communication, you still don’t need an app; just listen.

Words 8

I write about relationships. Obviously, words are paramount in all our interactions with other humans. Our words build either a bridge or a barrier to the people around us. What we say to and about others is what they use to determine if we are honest, trustworthy, and kind–or not.

I’m concerned about the way I hear people talking to each other—in families, in friendships, and even in politics. I hear harshness in the mall and in the church lobby. I can’t believe the vileness and sarcasm on primetime television. Turn on talk radio and you’ll find that the airwaves are flooded with bad-mannered, uncouth, and offensive rhetoric.

It seems that “saying it like it is” and being politically incorrect are now excuses for ignoring common decency.

Words 2

Whenever someone calls a family member “stupid,” they demonstrate a mean spirit that can destroy people. When a friend says to a friend, “You’re an a-hole!” it doesn’t build anyone up. (I know that word is offensive, and yet it’s become far too common.) When people blast others on social media, does that truly bring anything good into the situation? And when a politician calls another candidate ugly or crude names, they look childish, not presidential.

Words matter. Rude and crude are not the new cool. Discourteous vulgarity never has been okay, and it never should be.

Okay, that’s the problem. What’s the solution?

  • Humble your heart and speak helpful words. It’s time to acknowledge our short-comings and to get off our high horse. When we own the fact that we are far from perfect, it will change our attitude and profoundly affect our communication with others.

Words 3

  • Saturate your mind with positive thoughts. It’s easy to be critical. It’s not difficult to be harsh and mean when we focus on the negative. So don’t watch or listen to the talk shows that negatively blast everybody. Turn off the sitcoms that make light of crude and sarcastic behavior. Gently challenge (from a place of humility) your friends and family to say only what is helpful for building others up. You don’t ignore evil, but you choose to fix your heart and mind on whatever is noble, lovely, and praiseworthy. We become what we behold; let’s be sure to behold the beauty all around us.

Words 4

  • Ask a friend to help you unlearn old habits. A lot of us underestimate the value of accountability. Our society has elevated an independent mentality rather than the interdependent life we are called to in Christ. We need each other. We need others in our lives who will kindly correct us when we get mean or run amuck with a negative mouth.

Words 5

Never before in the history of civilization have we had a greater ability to spread either ugliness or beauty with our words. Social media have opened up a powerful opportunity to make a godly and positive difference.

Let’s not add to the crude, rude, and bombastic rhetoric so prevalent in our culture. Instead, let’s bring light into the dark and good news to a world desperate for hope.

Words 6

“A good man brings good things

out of the good stored up in his heart,

and an evil man brings evil things

out of the evil stored up in his heart.

For the mouth speaks what

the heart is full of.”

Luke 6:45 (NIV)

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15 Responses to Why RUDE and CRUDE are not the new COOL! (And three ways to change the way you talk.)

  1. THIS is what I have been searching for to bring up and talk about with my 3 teens!!!! THANK YOU!! hopefully in some small way THIS will get thru to them…

    • Glad it’s helpful, Kelly. I would suggest you start with your teens by asking, “How do you feel when someone calls you a name or says something critical/negative about you?” Get them feeling/relating to the struggle before you get them information. Just a thought….

8 Responses to What to Do When Someone You Love is Hurting You

  1. I think risking own’s emotional and spiritual health in a toxic relationship can be worse than risking our physical health.

  2. These issues are very hard, for sure. Just to add (if you don’t mind), becareful to not allow another’s actions to cause you to blame God. True peace and healing only come from God. Satan wants to fool us into believing “If God loves me, why did He allow this to happen to me”. Even at the hardest parts, be diligent to rest in the knowledge that God truly, truly loves you.

    Good stuff Kurt as always

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