BRING YOUR MANNERS TO WORK DAY

9-2 BRING YOUR MANNERS TO WORK DAY

We learned so much from Ernestine, didn’t we?  She taught us how to behave in the workplace…  be tough, but use humor at the most crucial time (when you actually want to beat the tar out of someone).   She taught us that we need to wake up, get up, dress up (making certain you have earrings and a matching bracelet), and show up to work on time!   We also learned that it’s okay to snort on occasion during a conversation and laugh at the appropriate time.  Thank you, Ernestine!

When Ernestine’s job phased out, they introduced her to a computer and put her in a cubicle with enough room to turn your chair exactly one half turn in two directions, but not enough room to stretch your legs out in front of you.  She no longer worked for the telephone company, but for a health insurance company.  The building was in downtown Wichita, Kansas and she worked on the 6th floor.

Wait…  that’s not Ernestine – that’s me.  Okay – we’re talking about me and my job.

How do we take our manners to work with us?  I’m so glad you asked.  I happen to have made a list.  I made this list a few years ago, long before I retired.  I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to share it – and it seems the opportunity has present itself, so…  here it is.

  1.  Whether you got up on the right side of the bed or not is unimportant…  you must begin by looking at yourself in the mirror and practicing your smile.  Good manners in the workplace begin with a good attitude, and a good attitude depends on your view of yourself.  It’s true!  If you like you, then it follows that others will like you too!  I’m not advocating the self-love, can’t get enough of myself junk that hit songs are made of these days – NO.  I’m just saying a healthy self-esteem is a step in the right direction, that’s all.
  2. Pray about the coming day.  I hear you saying, “I don’t have time for devotions in the morning – I have to get to work!”  Did I say anything about having actual devotions in the morning?  If you happen to be a disciplined person who gets up and hour earlier to accommodate that into your routine, then good for you.  For the rest of us…  pray while you’re in the shower – God hears you there too, you know!  By the same token, if you get up early enough to take a jog or a run or a skip around the neighborhood – you are disciplined enough to take care of your physical body…  doesn’t your spiritual self deserve some time too?  Jus’ sayin’…
  3. Be geared up to have a great day, but be prepared for worst case scenario.  Don’t let anything blind side you.  Remember who you are and that regardless of what happens, God loves you.  People do not always love you, but that’s not in their job description.  Let’s face it, we don’t pick our family and we don’t pick our co-workers.  These are just people who need to make money.  That’s the only reason they are there – just like you.  Don’t expect to make friends.  If you do make friends, that’s a bonus!
  4. I had a pet peeve about elevator etiquette.  If you think about this rationally, it makes sense.  When you get to work and need to get in the elevator to get to the 6th floor, it’s okay to push the button and stand there – that’s fine.  But don’t stand right next to the doors of the elevator!  If there are folks inside the elevator who want to come down to the 1st floor, they will need to have some space – give them room to exit the elevator before you get on!  For Pete’s sake, don’t just charge into the elevator right after the doors open!  It made me cray cray when someone would do that and I’d be trying to exit with some degree of decorum and integrity intact.
  5. Don’t talk about anybody ever…  gossip is not pretty in a family, in a church, or in a workplace.  It’s dangerous territory – do your best to rise above the temptation.  It is tempting because some people can make you nuts, but keep that information to yourself.  A better idea is to just pray for the ones who grate on your nerves.  Funny thing, but once you start to pray for them, you don’t dislike them so much and sometimes you begin to understand them better.
  6. It’s perfectly fine to speak cordially to co-workers, but to stand around and chit-chat and laugh and carry on is rude and annoying to others.  It’s distracting when some are trying to think about – you know, work.
  7. Be available at break time or at lunch for co-workers.  Some ministry doors have been opened to me at work.  It’s amazing how much you can share with a co-worker about your faith over a Wendy’s burger.
  8. Did you know that when you’re talking on the phone with a person, when you smile, they can HEAR that you’re smiling?  It’s weird, but it’s true.  Genuine courtesy is refreshing.  We’ve all met people who seem fake and robotic where courtesy is concerned.  Work on making common courtesy a part of who you are as a person.  With a little preparation and thoughtfulness, you can be a person with genuine courtesy.  It’s still better to give than to receive and to think of others before yourself.

So like Ernestine, we can go to work all scrubbed up and spiffed up, with our smile, sense of humor and manners on board.  Have a GREAT day!  🙂

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ROMANS 8:16 ON 8/16

TL ROMANS 8 16 ON 8 16

 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  – Romans 8:16

ABBA DADDY

We hear so much about self-esteem in our world today, don’t we?  Buy this new product and it will make you so beautiful and boost your self-image.  Sound familiar?  Some commercials really hit us where we live, don’t they?  The advertisement that hits me where I live is when Marie Osmond comes on and talks about Nutri-System.  Sometimes it airs so often, I finally say, “Oh Marie, get off my TV!” 

We think that if we lose weight or change the color of our hair or paint our toenails it will make us feel better about ourselves.  Those are not bad goals, but they don’t produce a lasting peace or joy within.  These fixes are temporal to say the least.

What brings a lasting peace and joy to our hearts and lives?  I’ll answer for myself.  When God’s Holy Spirit testifies (gives evidence) with my spirit that I am God’s child – it’s amazing!  I call it “God-esteem”!  It’s all about Him and nothing about me.  He did all the giving and praise God, He asks me to receive – and I have.

The Holy Spirit’s voice is a deeper voice than mine.  It’s a still small voice.  Some think it’s like a tornado, fire or earthquake – but no, the voice of God speaks to my heart and my consciousness, telling me that I am His child.

My reply is to cry, Abba…  Daddy! 

How do people cope with this crazy life without the Lord?  I don’t understand why anyone would not welcome Him into their hearts and lives.  Imagine having a loving heavenly Father who wants to keep you safe and constantly converse with you Spirit to spirit.  I welcome His Holy Spirit in my life every day.

We have many lovely conversations.  🙂

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

TL A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART (2)

It really is the little things that bring happy sparkles into your life!  Laughing is at the top of my list, but there are certain events that come to mind – and won’t likely be leaving my mind anytime soon.  I hope I can hang on to all the happy sparkles and think on the positive aspects in every circumstance.

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If we can re-live these little moments when the going gets tough, it not only brings a smile to our face, but it puts a little more courage and self-confidence in us.  These are moments when we were successful and happy and ready to high-five everybody!

  • One morning I tried for the umpteenth time to flip an egg over without breaking the yoke.  In 54 years of life I have never flipped an egg over without the yoke breaking, but guess what?  I carefully scooped the egg up with the spatula and flipped it over – and it was intact!!!  That was the best egg sammich ever!
  • Writing is my passion and music is my life.  Imagine my surprise when I was asked to write about music and got paid for it!  It’s not even about the money, but it’s about the words I write being read and appreciated.  There’s no better feeling to be sure.  Everyone wants to be appreciated.
  •  A friend recently asked if she could come to my house and listen to me play the piano.  I asked how long she had exhibited signs of instability – and she laughed and told me she was serious.  What a boost it was to know that she enjoyed hearing me play.  It gave me more confidence in the face of uncertainty.

Happy sparkles are gifts that God gives us.  He delivers them to us in many ways, through others or even when we’re alone with Him.  When we count our blessings and remember the happy sparkles along the way, we become the joyful Christian that Jesus wants us to be!

THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

TL 11-25 INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN

THE WINDOWS OF THE SOUL

Violence is such a buzz word in our society.  There is violence all around us.  Times are tough right now.  People don’t have jobs (or more than likely they have a couple of part-time jobs and still can’t skate by).  The stresses of life can build up and if you don’t have an outlet (the gym or some other release), you might strike out at the ones you supposedly love the most.  But abuse is NEVER right – NEVER. 

Let me tell you about a woman who experiences violence behind closed doors.  Behind lead-glass French doors, I might add.

It’s the heaviest burden she will ever bear.  It’s the darkest secret she will ever hide.  She will go to great lengths to make it look as though everything is perfect to outsiders – neighbors and friends.  She will make every excuse in the book to “cover” for her abuser, saying, “He just had a bad day” – or “Wow am I stupid, why did I make him angry like that?”   She turns the fault on herself – every single time.

After a while, she begins to believe that lie.  She has internalized the blame for so long that eventually – everything that goes wrong is somehow her fault.  It doesn’t matter if it does not make logical sense – it is still her fault.  Her abuser has her right where he wants her…  frightened and vulnerable.  She’s afraid of her own shadow and unable to make simple decisions anymore.  She is completely paralyzed and spends time over thinking things that the rest of us don’t think twice about.  She questions her own sanity at times.

She’s lost every ounce of self-esteem and beats herself up and may even cut herself because she “deserves” nothing less in her mind.  Her abuser has convinced her that she is less than in every respect.  She is not as pretty, as smart, as skinny, as understanding, as – anything.  She thinks if only she was all those things, then finally she would be good enough and her abuser would stop verbally  and/or physically abusing her.

If she has children she feels especially trapped.  If she does not have children there is a chance she can get away, but she knows she needs a plan.  It’s frightening to plan her escape because up to this point she does not believe she has done one single thing right.  She asks herself why this plan would be any better than anything else she’s done.

She keeps replaying the conversation she had with her sister before the wedding.  Her sister expressed concern about specific times when his temper flared or he seemed too controlling.    The blushing bride patted her sister’s hand and assured her that it was nothing, but thanked her for being concerned.  She recalls quickly changing the subject at that point.

But now she knows her sister was right about him.  Those moments were red flags – signs.  She ignored them.  Why did she choose to ignore them?  She thought she loved him.  A nervous  laugh becomes audible as that thought passes through her mind.  She quietly said under her breath, ” What a cliche’!”  Now she knows that the only One who ever loved her gave His life for her.  Love was never a part of her marriage.  It’s always been about survival.

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She has a best friend who stays closer than a brother – His name is Jesus.  He knows her name – he knows what she is thinking and how she is feeling about herself.  He will help her through this.  She prays for her abuser as she scratches and claws her way out of this pit.  She listens to teaching that helps her hold on to threads of self-esteem.  She spends time alone with God to gain strength.  She found a loving circle of support from good Christian folks who  encourage her to take another step.  She just needs the courage to leave.  She needs a plan.  She prays that one in her circle can be trusted to help her.  She asks God who she should confide in and ask for help.

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If you are a man who abuses a woman – know this…  God is watching.  You may control your woman through violent behavior or verbal vomit, but when you have to stand before God one day (and oh yeah – you will) – you won’t have enough honey-covered words to get you out of that situation.  GET HELP – get it now.  Stopping is a process but it has to begin TODAY.  Find a good reputable Christian counselor and begin sessions.  Abusing a woman (or anyone else) does not make you more of a man.  If you have anger management issues – it is YOUR problem – don’t make it hers too. 

That woman you have – she is a bright, brilliant, fragile and loving soul that God entrusted you with!  Treat her with all the tenderness you possibly can.  If you will do that, you will be AMAZED at the love you receive in return!  Get on your knees and thank God for her every day.  Instead of belittling her, lift her up – it really does not take much to make a woman smile.  You know what, Mr. abuser?  God counts that woman’s tears – every one of them.  On judgment day He will show you that bottle of tears and ask for an explanation.  But the smiles you put on her face – now wouldn’t you rather see images of the smiles from God and hear the words WELL DONE, THOU GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT…  ???  😀

 

 

NATIONAL PINK DAY

TL 6-23 NATIONAL PINK DAY

 

Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself.   – Harvey Fierstein

I’ve tried to put myself in the mindset of a bully. I’ve tried to understand where they are coming from. I will never understand, no matter how long I live, how one human being can esteem themselves somehow BETTER or more entitled to something than another human being! We are ALL God’s children!!!

Bullying stems from a poor sense of self. If a person’s own self-esteem is shaky, they will do anything they can to intimidate someone else (or try to) to stroke their own precious ego and raise their self-esteem. What they do not realize; however, is that the attempt to hurt another person is not going to change their own perception of themselves – not one bit!!!

The road to change is never an external journey – it ALWAYS begins within. Don’t look to other people and try to change them to feel better about yourself! Work on you and leave others alone. I will work on me. I will not try to be better in any way than anyone – except myself.

We are all on different paths. Once we realize it’s not a race, we will begin to coexist in harmony. When I’m tempted to blow another person’s candle out to make mine shine brighter, I think of a saying I heard one time. When you blow someone’s candle out, it does not make yours shine brighter. To be a bully is to be a coward. Bullies lack the necessary tools to negotiate in a mature and civilized manner. They have a limited vocabulary and weak social skills. Bullies are losers.

I hope you will join me – wear PINK today on NATIONAL PINK DAY!!!

“Pretending and ignoring are two different things.”  I was 15 when I heard this, checked in to a stress center after swallowing a potentially lethal dose of sleeping pills.  I’d told my best friend I was born HIV positive.  Classmates called me names and left mean notes on my locker.  I was told to ignore my bullies, which I’d done.  But as one of the center’s counselors explained, sometimes you think you’re ignoring hurtful behavior when you’re just pretending.  “Were you hurt, Paige?” the counselor asked.  Yes.  I’d been hurt again and again.  It was terrifying to admit; would acknowledging that mean my bullies had won?  No.  It allowed me to move on.  Admitting I was hurt was the only thing that freed me from the pain.  – Paige Rawl

Bullying does happen – more than we know. Often times the victim has been so emotionally beaten down they are afraid to either fight back or tell anyone about what they are going through.

If you knew that someone was being bullied, would you help? What would you do? Be attune to the signs of abuse. Not all signs are physical. There are certain behaviors that are telltale signs that abuse is taking place. The ones being bullied are usually:

Isolated– Often one of the first signs that a person is being abused is isolation. Obviously if the abuse is physical, the person will not want to go out in public and certainly will not want to have to explain injuries to their friends. It’s just easier to be isolated from the world.

Withdrawn– Similar to isolation, but when a person withdraws they cease to have opinions or engage in intelligent conversation. They are in survival mode and “small talk” seems unimportant and trivial to them.

Emotional– This is like manic depression. Emotions seem to be all over the map. Because with verbal abuse in particular, a person can be brought from a normal mood into a deep depression in seconds with what has been said to them. Words hurt as much as hits do, and the scars run deep. If they are told that they are stupid or ugly or worthless after so long, they begin to buy into it. These little things affect their self-perception eventually. Sometimes when they are taken away from the abuser, they can actually feel a type of “high” and be over the top emotionally and almost giddy.

For the sake of awareness, let’s wear pink and support the effort to STOP BULLYING!!!