Everything We Read Impacts Us by Vicki Hinze

Christians Read

vickihinze, vicki hinze, everything we read

 

vicki hinze, everything we read, canstockphoto licensedEverything we read impacts us. Labels of ingredients determine what we buy. Newspaper articles lead us to form opinions. Opinion pieces encourage us to agree or disagree, forming our own opinions. Media, from articles to circulars offer us information, ideas, input for us to process and include in our thinking and in our actions (or inactions). It all impacts us.

I’d planned to share with you today why I’m writing what I’m writing where I’m writing it. My new novel is based on a spiritual concept—God sees the big picture and we don’t, so our trust, even when things seem out of kilter, needs to rest in Him. Many who read the story won’t see that, but it’s there and I hope they’ll feel it. We often recognize things at soul level while not consciously aware of them. It’s published in a collection of secular novels. To reach others…

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New Blogs’ Address

My new website is now up and running and the following blogs will be posted on it:

On Writing Thinking Aloud My Kitchen Table My Faith Zone

The new url is: http://vickihinze.com/blog

Blessings,

Vicki

Prince or Princess:

This weekend, I attended my littlest angel’s third birthday party.  The princess theme was evident everywhere, and all the children came dressed in costume including tiaras or crowns.  It was a wonderful party, and the children were adorable–and fascinating.  Their actions and reactions brought to mind a simple fact.  We are all sons and daughters of the King.

 

We forget it at times, ignore it at times, and certainly we experience times that we don’t feel much like princes and princesses.  But how we feel, what we’re experiencing or facing, does not alter the fact that we are who we are.

 

As children of the King, we are princes and princesses.  And, from my observations, those who are reminded, conduct themselves a bit differently.  Not just kinder and gentler, not just more decisive and solution-oriented, but it’s as if there’s a perspective shift.  The observations made aren’t solely from a “how does this impact me” point of view.  They’re from a “how does this impact” point of view.  It’s a significant shift.

 

We look at the bigger picture.  We seek the impact on others and ourselves.  We become better stewards and seek to serve above being served.  We grasp that we are examples, role models, that we’re the King’s examples, and others notice how we conduct ourselves and it helps set standards in others’ minds on how they should conduct themselves.  We lead not because we oppress or seek to subdue or subvert others but because others turn to us based on their perceptions of us.

 

If a person is known for being caring, compassionate, honest and fair and concerned for others’ well being as well as their own, and another is not known for exhibiting those traits or attributes, which of them would you turn or look to for guidance in a crisis or dilemma?

 

The answer is obvious.  And so the purpose of this post is to remind us all that we are the sons and daughters of the King.  We are princes and princesses.  Not pretend ones.  Not fleeting ones that depend on anything that can pass away.  Eternal ones.  And when we remember it, others become aware of it too.  Not by our speech, but by our actions.

 

So recognizing that we’re royalty, the question then becomes, “Are you a good prince or princess, or a bad one?”  Will you be a son or daughter who makes your King’s heart glad?  Will you remember who you are and conduct yourself accordingly?  Or will you turn from who and what you are?

 

It is a choice.  Because always with privilege comes responsibility.

 

Blessings,

 

Vicki

THINGS WE WISH WE’D SAID…

 

Things We Wish We’d Said

No doubt you’ve had an experience when later you think, I wish I’d said…

Maybe you were talking to your spouse about something that mattered more than you first thought.  Or about something that was a little (or a big) bone of contention between you.  Or about a future plan where you didn’t disclose your opinion in full or at all.

Maybe you were talking to your boss.  About your future with the company.  About a project.  About a new slot opening or a transfer or any other matter of importance where you felt you probably should keep quiet.

Maybe you were talking to your parent.  About a rule or a consequence for some action.  About a class or a path for your future that you wanted to take or didn’t want to take.

Maybe you were talking to a friend.  About any of the things friends discuss, including your friendship.

Or maybe–and in my experience, these are toughest–maybe you wish you’d said something to someone who was dying and didn’t.  Either because you didn’t want to upset them or because you were so upset you couldn’t talk past the boulder in your throat because your emotions were in riot.

My point is that we later wish we hadn’t said things, but we wish we had, too.  And sometimes it takes more courage and stamina and grit to speak than it does to stay silent.

When my dad was dying, I was at his bedside.  He’d been hallucinating for hours.  Sometimes he recognized me as his daughter but mostly he recognized me as his mother and spoke to me as if I were her, which was all the more bizarre because his mother died before he was three years old.

Some say he was between the veil–one foot in this world, one in the next.  But that’s another story.  In this one, the point is that he talked and I listened and learned things about his childhood that I didn’t know.  He wasn’t himself, clearly.  Yet his words held the ring of truth and the pain of a little boy growing up without a mother and father (who also died before my dad was two years old).

Then in a moment of clarity just before he died, my dad sat up and clear-eyed and minded told my mother and me goodbye.  His last words to me were, “I love you, Tiger.  God bless.”

I said, “I love you, too, Daddy.”  He died minutes later.
Often in the years since, I’ve wished I had seized those few moments to thank him for all he’d done for me as a parent.  He was not my friend.  I had plenty of friends.  He was from beginning to end, my parent and he did all parenting implies.

I knew what parenting took.  I knew that he’d sacrificed for me, and that there had been times when I’d stepped on his toes and on his heart.  I wish I’d acknowledged all he taught, an appreciation for all he instilled by example and all he encouraged by attitude and outlook.

But the wound of loosing him was so deep and so raw, and that boulder in my throat was so big, I couldn’t say anything more–and then when I thought I could, it was too late.  I watched him release his last breath.  The opportunity had passed.

I talk to him still in my mind.  I say all I wish I’d said then, at that moment.  And I’m comforted in knowing that I expressed appreciation to him many times during his life.  But I regret not seizing that moment.  Maybe saying I love you was enough.  Believing that it might me gives me solace.  But I wish I had said all those things and more.

When my mother was dying, I did say those things.  And I saw her response to them.  She lived a time longer and we shared much more.  The day before she died, she told me how much all that meant to her.

You see, these things we wish we’d said aren’t just for us, they’re for the other person, too.

The Psalmist said in 39:2 “So I remained utterly silent, not even saying anything good. But my anguish increased.”  This lesson, we all learn at some point in our lives.  But there are others.

Job 7:11 tells us, ““Therefore I will not keep silent; I will speak out in the anguish of my spirit, I will complain in the bitterness of my soul.”  This speaks to airing your differences and hurts so that you can clear the air and settle them.  So that the hurt doesn’t fester and grow stronger and rob you of joy and peace.

Later in Job–31:34, we discover an often cited motivation for staying quiet.  “because I so feared the crowd and so dreaded the contempt of the clans that I kept silent and would not go outside—.”  We don’t want to upset or anger others, or to look foolish.  But this kind of silence perpetuates that festering and it adds regret.  We should speak up, speak the truth.  When we don’t, we condone by virtue of our silence, and that leads us into situations riddled with untruths, misconceptions and places we should not go.

There are times, of course, when silence is golden and listening is the path to wisdom.  Recognizing those times requires judgment, and often that’s gained through experience and guidance.
One path to checking yourself on when to speak up and when to stay silent is to listen to those inner voices.  The nudges you feel to say something or ones urging you to keep quiet.  The nudge or urge isn’t reliable.  Determining what is driving it is.  If it’s anger or upset, it’s questionable.  If it’s love or mercy it’s not; say it.

The important thing is to act from your higher self, not your base self.  To not regret what you do or don’t say but to find peace and comfort and solace in what you do or don’t say.

You won’t always be right in what you decide.  But if you use your innate tools, you’ll be right more often than not.  Asking yourself why is key.  Why does it matter?  Answer that and you’ll know if it’s your higher or base self doing the nudging.

Answer that and we increase the odds of having fewer occasions when we ride our own backs with, things we wish we’d said.

Blessings,

Vicki

P.S.  I’m including a video I did on Coping with Aging Parents.  Maybe it’ll be helpful to those in that situation or coming into that situation.

Contentment is a Choice

 

During struggles, we often forget that contentment is a choice. 

 

Many are drowning in challenges and are having a difficult time–in their jobs or lack of one, in their families, with their children or in clashes with relatives, in other relationships, and within.  When challenges occur outside that impact how we feel about ourselves inside, that’s conflict, and too often we get to a point where we feel as if we’re clinging to a limb by our last nail, looking down at a huge drain, and the temptation is strong, then stronger, to just let go and swirl on down.

 

Believers suffer these struggles too, and cling to that limb embracing faith.  But doubt is strong and it’s used against us.  The devil loves weakness and seizes vulnerability, so we get kicked when we’re down.  Hard.

 

Suffering the blows makes it hard to remember that as believers we have promises.  We won’t be alone, abandoned or forgotten.  What’s intended to harm us will be turned for good.  And there are many more that offer hope and encouragement, guidance and comfort. 

 

Yet when we’re hanging by that one nail and watching the muddy water beneath us swirl down that drain, it’s hard to hold onto that certainty and maybe even hard to remember those promises.  But it is exactly then that we most need to remember them.

 

If we stand fast and hold on, continue to trust God and believe His promises, we’ll get through the troubles.  We won’t be immune to them, but we’ll have the endurance and strength and fortitude to hold on and see the struggles for what they are–opportunities to grow and change and gain new insight and wisdom.

 

Think back.  When’s the last time you gained anything that elevated you in your spiritual walk during easy times?   During times when you were cruising along without challenges?  It just doesn’t seem to work that way.  Challenges and obstacles force us to evaluate and decide what most matters, who most matters–who we choose to be and how we choose to act and react in the face of adversity.  In our responses, we define ourselves and our faith.  We either have firm reliance and trust or we discover we need work in those areas.

 

The Apostle Paul instructed us to be content wherever we are.  He did so from a prison where he was steeped in sewage.  If he can be content exercising his will and trust in faith, so can we.

 

So choose to be content.  In your circumstance, no matter how dire things appear, remember that ours is a steadfast God who does not change, who keeps His word, and never gives us more to handle than we are capable of handling, and choose contentment.  Hold fast to faith and believe.  When doubt or fear rears its ugly head, tamp it.

 

If you choose contentment, you’ll look not down at the drain but up.  You’ll see past that one nail on the limb to the strong arms above it, poised to catch you should you fall.

 

Contentment is a choice.  Choose wisely.

 

Blessings,

 

Vicki


 

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