Woman to Woman: Killing with Kindness.

We’ve all heard the saying and as a woman, we’ve all tried it before.
Killing with kindness.

That’s the way, right? The way to get back at someone that has been less than kind to you. It’s not wrong to be extra kind to someone that needs to see what kindness is really all about. Right?

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. (Col. 3:12, MSG)

Well, that’s a dress that may not fit so well right now, a little too tight perhaps, so we are unpacking a little at a time. Today we will look at kindness. What does real kindness look like between women? It’s become so foreign a concept we tend to forget.

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Paul says in Romans 12:9 (MSG) to “love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it.”

What? I can’t fake it? I can’t kill her with kindness since she has been so unkind to me?

Brother Paul says no. And that means God says…No.

Paul also says here to “love from the center of who you are.” That goes a little deep does it not? The center of who I am is not always a pretty site. It’s not always full of love and kindness.

What’s in the well comes up in the bucket.

And my well can get muddy if not all together dry at times. 

My muddy soul can produce some dirty thoughts, words and deeds. To sow kindness means I’ve got to have some kindness in me to pull from. That means I’ve got some work to do. God’s got a work to do in me.

I’m not saying I’m a mean person. All the time. Or that we as women are mean. All the time. But if we are honest, REALLY honest, we will see some room for improvement in the kindness category.

Who are we kidding? Women can be the meanest creatures known to man. We don’t even have to verbalize it. It’s in the way we look. I mean stare. “I can’t believe she wore that to church? Does she own a mirror? What kind of mama did she have to let her think that was appropriate attire for Wal-Mart, much less church?” (insert gasp…and a smile, we always put on a smile when we think things like this. Or is that just me?)

Kindness isn’t just a lesson our teenage daughters need. Though they can be bad. Really bad. I know, I was one.

I was not the most popular girl. I didn’t have the name-brand clothes. I never had the “right” hair. I couldn’t keep up with what was the popular music or tv show…that week. They changed too much. And I knew what it felt like to be looked at “that way” that said I know you are different, but I won’t be mean to your face. Or maybe I will.

I’ve also been on the other side. I was never deliberately mean to another girl, but I was trying to find my place in the world, too, and if it meant not talking to you or avoiding you because you were a little different, I probably did. Ok, I did. I know I did it at times.

Back to what I said…kindness isn’t just something our teenage daughters need.
It’s something we as women need.

Who do they learn to be so mean from, anyway? Think about that a moment.
Who do they learn from?

Then there’s this. The fact that you don’t know what that other soul is bearing today. What enormous cross are they lugging up a one-way hill?

You don’t know that she wakes up to a man every morning that is living in darkness and that darkness is constantly groping for her own soul.

You don’t know that she has a parent that has become more needy than her own children.

You don’t know that she has a prodigal that has left home or left their faith or worse yet never had the faith she thought they had and she has no idea when or if they will ever return to her or to the God that she has tried her entire life to lead them to.

So yeah, there’s that. In the bitterness of our soul, we don’t see the other soul for what they’re facing.

So we say an unkind word.  We think an unkind thought. We do an unkind deed. And none of those can be taken back.

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A word spoken is a word eternal.

A thought etched in our mind is a thought eternal.

A deed done is a deed eternal.

A word penned is a word eternal.

A word expressed is a word eternal. Period.

It takes as much effort to say a kind word, do a kind deed, think a kind thought, as it does to do, think, or share one unkind.

Oh, that we as people, we as sisters, would start sharing more kindness than hate.

It’s not in our flesh, but it’s in our ability through the One who can and will clothe us with kindness if we let Him.

It’s time. For kindness to overcome hate and envy and greed and just. plain. meanness.

It’s time to be more. Our girls are watching and learning. Let’s do this. It’s time to be kind.

Graciously,
Meredith

It’s “Woman to Woman” Wednesday. Working on unity of the sisterhood here on Wednesdays one perfectly imperfect word at a time. If you would like to share your thoughts on todays post or add your own comments about how we can grow kindness as a sisterhood, we welcome your words below! Feel free to leave comments or add a link to your own blog post. Much thanks! (Excuse the little blue frog…though he is kind of cute, I would rather not have him on here, but can’t seem to make him go away. :O) Please has it out with us using #w2w when you share. 😀 You can view last week’s W2W here.

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Woman to Woman: Put it on.

We began talking last week “Woman to Woman.” We talked about several truths as I see them and some of you had great feedback as to what your own truths looked like.

I feel led to start discussions between women, from a woman, to grow women.

In the end, we are the ones who “get” each other, right? The men in our lives can love us, provide for us, protect us and be an amazing part of our lives…but I’ve yet to have one man in my life that really “gets” being a woman. He’s not. I am.

We have a lot we could and should be teaching one another. A lot we should be doing to build one another up. To grow in community as moms/wives/friends. And as Christian women, we have a call to serve one another in love. To serve our families in love.

My hearts cry is that we as women would start growing together and going together. Growing upwards and going forward.

Our lives are not about me, you, us or them. It’s all about Him. Everything we do and say is meant to glorify the One who gave us eyes to see, lips to speak, hands to mend, feet to go…and hearts to love.

“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts…” (Col. 3:12)

Let’s start there. We are to put on compassionate hearts.

In the morning I put on my makeup because it’s not already applied. I don’t have tattooed eyeliner…that scares me immensely, but would be very awesome to never have to apply in my lifetime again. And mascara…that takes way too long.

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I put on my clothes…because that’s the thing to do. And you thank me for that. And somebody please help me with this closet. Please.

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I put on my watch…so I will not be late. Well, that’s the idea anyway.

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I put on a false sense of security…because I wouldn’t want you to think I was insecure. Not me.

I put on a smile…even when I may be frowning inside. That’s the polite thing to do. Especially when you ask me how I’m doing. “Fine.” With a smile. Do you really want to know how I’m doing, anyway?

We all put on something everyday. Because it’s not already on us or in us, so we have to put. it. on. 

These words from Paul are telling me that I, as God’s beloved, also have to put on some things to be what I’ve been called and chosen to be. There is a lot to unpack in the reality that we are chosen and beloved, alone. I talked about that in You. Are. Beloved. Yes, You.

An important first step in the process of identifying with other beloveds is realizing you are beloved.

We are instructed to put on a compassionate heart. That implies I don’t already possess one. Ouch. That hurts.

Who wants to think they don’t possess a compassionate heart? I love people. And babies. And animals. I have compassion.

Sorry. No, I really don’t. Not without God giving it to me. Not the kind of compassion He wants me to have. For Him.

Compassion for Him. For His Son. For His people. Now we are getting somewhere.

When I let Christ’s compassion wash over me, I will in turn have compassion to give back to the Giver. And from the overflow of what’s been given me, I will extend a compassionate heart to my sisters. And husband. And children. And all the “less than” that I now “overlook.”

Without a compassionate heart there is no hope for love. Without love there is no hope.

Love is the tie that binds.

Everything else I want to address and talk about with you Woman to Woman stems from having a compassionate heart.

A heart overflowing with love from the Father, for the Father and all the Father’s children. Including our own children. Our own husbands. Our own family. Our sisters. And all those “less than” that we’ve been overlooking for so long. Out of fear. Or disgrace. Or whatever.

Will you go with me towards putting on a compassionate heart? It may take some getting used to. But there is grace for that. God always equips the called. And as His children, we’ve been called to put on a compassionate heart.

As the season of Lent approaches, many people decide to “give up” something to observe what Jesus gave up for us. It’s hard to think we could give up anything that would compare to what he gave up. Perhaps a good start would be what my friend Michele-Lyn Ault suggests, less of me and more of Him. And perhaps a good place to start there would be letting go of the parts of my heart that don’t allow compassion in.

For lent I will strive to let go of my…
jealous heart.
disappointed heart.
ashamed heart.
comparing heart.
self-righteous heart.
unforgiving heart.
slanderous heart.

And I will strive to grasp a compassionate heart.

Compassion drove Jesus to the cross.
Compassion drove Jesus from the grave.
Compassion changed the world.
And it still can. It can change mine. It can change yours.

Graciously,

Meredith

If you would like to share your own thoughts about todays post or write your own post in response, please link post or add your thoughts in comments.

I’m also linking this up to Jennifer Dukes Lee and an awesome group who are giving up their own “Love Idols” this lent.

Link your own Woman to Woman post below…I’ll be so gracious for it!

Woman to Woman: The Truth Is…

Talking to women today. Woman to Woman. 

This will be our platform for Wednesdays here.

Learning to disciple one another to Truth in Christ.

This is heavy on my heart. There are things you and I need to be working on. In our hearts. To influence our homes. Our marriages. Our children. Our relationships.

Woman to Woman. We are going to flesh it out together. I would love for you to join me.

If you’re a writer…and if you’re a woman with a heart, then you’re a writer…I would be honored to hear your thoughts.

Wednesdays will be our time around the table sipping a cup of coffee together (or tea or juice…whatever makes you happy). We will hash out our thoughts, fears, doubts, and above all, we will ENCOURAGE.

That’s my hearts cry for this place in the blog world to be…a home of encouragement for women. To grow together. Laugh together. Cry together. All for HIS glory. 

I’m starting this journey with a list of “truths” as I see them.

You may agree. You may disagree. Let’s discuss in love and share what your truths are as they may differ.

May we find real Truth together and learn to love in it and grow from it.

The common thread is LOVE. Sounds trite. But it’s not. It’s just that simple.

Love has to be our motivation and will be the only thing that binds us together.
We have the greatest example to follow in Jesus. Let Him Lead.

Will you join me? Woman to Woman? Create a blog post with your own truths and post the link or leave your thoughts in the comment section below. Use #w2w to tweet truths worth sharing. Can’t wait to see where your truths lie and how close I bet some of us already are…

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The truth is…
We don’t need more self-esteem…We need more God esteem.

The truth is…
The woman in the mirror is not who God sees, He sees who is behind the mask.

The truth is…
We were not created as lions to roar… We were created as daughters to love and be loved.

The truth is…
We spend way too much time talking about one another, than talking about how to help one another.

The truth is…
We say a lot more with our actions and our gaze, than we ever do with our mouth.

The truth is…
We put our hopes and dreams in a man, instead of the only Man that can ever fulfill them.

The truth is…
We constantly compare ourselves to one another, rather than the One whose image we were created to reflect.

The truth is…
We want desperately to be accepted by everyone around us, and don’t realize we are already accepted by the only One who matters.

The truth is…
We have a hard time forgiving ourselves for past sins, and forget they’ve already been forgiven.

The truth is…
We put on a front to make people think we are happy and life is great…and we. are. not. and it. is. not.

The truth is…
We don’t know how to love fully, because we’ve never let ourselves be fully loved by the only One who loves completely.

The truth is…
The less time we spend getting to know Jesus, the less we care about Him.

The truth is…
The more time we spend in the Word, the more time we will want to spend in the Word.

The truth is…
We say we don’t have time to do a lot of things, but we have time to do everything. we. want.

The truth is…
Your truths may look very different than mine, but we are still women.

Created by the same God. Created to love Him and one another.

The truth is…
The truth hurts, but it is still the TRUTH. In truth and truth alone, will we ever be free to love and be loved completely.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
(John 14:6)

What are your truths?

Graciously seeking Him,
Meredith