I know you are probably thinking what are you doing on here on Thanksgiving? Well, I had to check in with you to make sure that I let you know how thankful I am for this platform, this book and most importantly…you. I’m 12 blogs in and so grateful that you’re rocking with me.
So this book has been really intriguing; so much so that I have to stop myself from reading the whole thing in one sitting. As soon as I saw this title I could relate; there’s a lady at my part time job who hates me. She sits at the front desk. She’s very eloquent, knowledgeable, seemingly pleasant and well put together and yes, she does actually remind me of Madea. Although she absolutely has all of these things working for her, for whatever reason she talks about everyone behind their backs and is crazy nosey, and that’s when we “were cool,” so I can only imagine what she says about me now.
Honestly, I think there’s been animosity there for a while; well at least since I was promoted from the front desk to the office. In my defense, if offered, anyone would’ve taken the opportunity. Anyway, if I had to pin point where I believe her hatred for me stemmed, it would probably be the incident that happened around the end of last month.
I have to give you background information, so bear with me…The director of the center was on vacation and I was using her computer because mine had conveniently stopped working. So I was in her office, which I have done before, whenever my computer had issues in the past. I also came in on my day off due to prearranged schedule changes that were cleared with the director. (We all report directly to the director, by the way.) She, we’ll call her Mrs. A, for discretionary purposes, is a customer service rep who mans the front desk and receives other admin task as the director sees fit. I am an administrative assistant to the director but a lot of people act as if I’m their personal assistant or the assistant director of the facility…either of which I am not. One of her admin tasks that was bestowed on her by the director, you know those “duties as needed” tasks we all get, is the Predicted Time Analysis report, keyword here ⇒ PREDICTED.
So she comes into the office of where I am and makes a statement about us (the director and I) doing a better job of letting her know about our work schedules. I was thinking, first of all, it’s PREDICTED. Secondly, I don’t report to you and third of all, it’s none of your business…but I decided to pick my battles and not go there. I told her that I usually have Thursdays off and cleared my one time schedule change with my supervisor. I knew she came back there for something else though…she lingered.
She preceeded to her next topic of discussion, which was about me informing people of their schedules due to folks coming in late to relieve her. Again, I’m thinking, the last time I checked, that’s everyone’s personal responsibility but decided to let that go as well. She then began conplaining about the admin work that the director gave her and how it was not in her job description and attempted to hint that I should’ve been doing it since I’m the admin.
I’ve learned with taking this job that everyone wants to complain to someone, about any and everything but no one will confront anyone who can actually do something about it. They expect that person to take up their cause as if it’s their obligation and insult you in the process. I guess I happen to be that person since I sit in an office. So I reminded her what my job was since she was so determined to let me know what her job was and wasn’t. I informed her that that issue wasn’t my job but I could call and remind her relief of their start time. Then I thought about it and called her out on her complaint because I typically fill in when her relief is late so that she can depart on time, manning the desk until they get there. So I reminded her that she isn’t the only one that is being inconvenienced. I think that was when I pissed her off. I also informed her that my boss’ boss reprimanded the director for allowing me to be on the front desk and that I wouldn’t be able to relieve her anymore…that sent her over the deep end.
Long story short, everyday after that for about a week I noticed she would avoid speaking to me, to the point that she was supposed to give me information and instead of telling me as I walked by her desk, she taped a note to my door. I was going to let it ride to see how far she would take it and figured she would get over it.
Soon the Director came back off of vacation and found out about the dispute and gave me an ultimatum, “Either you take care of it or I will.” That was all I needed, I don’t mind confrontation so I confronted her. I knew she would avoid me in person so I called up to the center and decided to apologize for any offense that was caused from our conversation. Mrs. A seemed totally oblivious as to what I was referring so I called her out about the note, she then stated that during the conversation I said that my boss’ boss ordered that I couldn’t speak to them. I advised her that was absurd but she insisted.
Many friends thought that I shouldn’t have apologized but I had to explain that I have a covenant with the director and I care more about the peace of the atmosphere than I do being right or wrong. Since then, I keep it moving. I’ve vowed to speak, be pleasant and keep it moving but the vibe still isn’t as comfortable as it once was.
In the book, she experiences a completely different issue but a conflict nonetheless. She remembers that the lady at the gym hates her because she was inspired by how effortless the woman’s work out seemed on the elliptical machine and all of the mistakes she made while attempting to replicate her. She decided to try it but ended up bumping into the lady, 1st mistake. Then she challenged herself to show her and everyone else that she could keep up, she couldn’t, 2nd mistake and the 3rd mistake was that she took a phone call during the workout. She recalled the lady moving to the treadmill in disdain for her and every since then, seemingly hating her guts…or so she thought. She thought it odd when the same woman smiled at her one day and she came to the realization that the woman didn’t hate her at all. She completely made it up in her head. Unlike her experience, mine was very real but the chapter didn’t get interesting to me until the later part of it where she remembered a saying that her friend would use…”Live loved.” I loved it instantly and decided that I would change all of my signatures to the same:
She goes on to talk about how this is a manta, not just instruction but a proclamation.
Live from the abundant place that you are loved, and you won’t find yourself begging others for scraps of love.- TerKeurst, page 30
I wasn’t begging for Mrs. A’s love but I was hurt. I couldn’t understand the sudden attack on my character. Here’s a situation where a very mature, 60-70 year old woman, who is battling cancer, comes into my space and causes discord for a Predicted Time Analysis report? It seemed stupid to me. I felt disrespected. I wondered what made her do that. I thought I was simply standing up for myself by responding with my job description as she did me. I thought I did a good thing but I didn’t. I should’ve responded in love and if I knew how loved I was and if I was operating in it, no “back and forth” would’ve transpired. My focus wouldn’t have been on convincing her of my responsibilities or arguing about hers but it would’ve been on more important things and because of that I would’ve responded like this instead…
When life karate chops my feelings into words like hurt, brushed aside, and left out on Monday and then on Tuesday morning the lady at the gym smirks at me, how in heaven am I supposed to be jolly and not assume the worst? For real, it does not come naturally to me to think in those moments, Girl, I am not picking up that negative vibe you just laid down, because I live loved…It’s hard to live something you sometimes don’t feel – TerKeurst, page 32
So how do you live loved? The bible says:
The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will quiet you by His love; He will exult over you with loud singing- Zephaniah 3:17 ESV
Lysa said somethings that I completely agreed with, in fact as I would ponder the previous parts of the chapter, I found myself saying the exact same things out loud and then read it and I constantly found myself saying “I just said that.” So what did she say that I said:
I love the thought that God is in our midst and that He will quiet me by His love. Yes, please. I’ll take an extra-large order of that every morning. I want to believe it’s possible for me not just in the middle of Bible study but in the middle of life. So, I decided to go on a “live loved” quest.- TerKeurst, page 33
That’s ultimately the decision I reached. I started asking myself hard questions like, “Am I just going through the motions?” “Where’s my results?” So I looked at every area of my life and applied the question to Praise and Worship, Sabbath celebration, Sunday Services, Work Life, etc. If others were affected then I asked them and what I came up with was very interesting…First, I questioned doing the Sabbath on Saturdays because of my research where it very specifically stated that Fridays was when it was to be celebrated and come to find out someone else wanted to do it then too. Friday’s it is!
Second, I realized that my love was running cold for God because I looked at His definition of love and I didn’t exemplify those qualities. (My conversation with Mrs. A played in the background.)
Praise and Worship began to be a task because I wasn’t seeking God’s presence throughout the week, except for Shabbat. Sure, I’d pray, but not focused, unceasing prayer. I liken it to being married and your date night is your Sabbath and Sunday service is like double dating. (I know this takes some imagination but just try to see where I’m going with this) If you don’t speak to your spouse all week and wanna give attention out the blue on date night (Sabbath), that’s unacceptable and then try to show off in front of friends (Sunday service) there’s going to be a problem. Now imagine going through that every week? I don’t know about you but I don’t want a relationship like that, but that’s what I was handing to God and asking Him to bless. No wonder I wasn’t living loved, I wasn’t doing my part, I was neglecting my better half.
So for me, although I’ve never been in love but have loved, I had to think of how I would act if my relationship with God were a intimate one, which it should be. I wouldn’t have been satisfied had my spouse not checked in with me all day. I realized He wasn’t either. I need more attention than that and so does God. He’s not a genie in a bottle, He is God Almighty and He deserves way more attention and quality time, not just on date night or on the double date acting like we have it all together. When the concept is broken down like this, you can readily understand why we don’t have victory or abundance. Had I been God, I wouldn’t have blessed us either. In interpersonal relationships, you can understand why you don’t get the things that you desire if you don’t treat people right, but we tend to treat God any way we want and then have the nerve to use an excuse like “He knows my heart.” When we are in our spouse’s presence, just because that’s where we want to be, they’re more likely to want to be in your space for the same reasoning, not because they want what’s in your hand but what’s in your heart. We should want God’s heart more than anything including more than being right.
Fullness comes to us when we remember to be with Him before going out to serve Him. He wants our hearts to be in alignment with Him before our hands set about doing today’s assignment for Him.- TerKeurst, page 39
I think until we really get a revelation about God’s love for us, we will continue to flirt with the world, and the world will seemingly win, just like Mrs. A. I entertained her and the distraction causing me to take my focus off of God’s love for me. I was focused on defending myself. There was no way that it was on my love for God, His love for me, my love for her or…His love for her.
Just as earthly relationships, you have to keep the fire going. It’s not God whose fire went out, its ours. We need to deal with distractions. The grass is not greener by giving in to the distractions, the grass is greener where you water it. In this case I was probably right but the relationship was destroyed and even when I came to myself and apologized for my part in it, it was not fully mended.
I’ve settled it in my heart just this week that my focus will be on Him. I will not “go in cold” again so I’m deciding to live loved by implementing at least 24 mins of my day to Him. Every time I’ve done this I’ve gone over but the goal is to spend at least 24 mins as a tithe of my 24 hour day. His banner over me is love even when i don’t feel it, He’s there. He deserves my undivided attention. No more going in cold, excepting Him to microwave love in my heart on Saturdays and Sundays.
I’m interested in a full time love and He’s willing to give it…what kind of love do you want? I guarantee once you focus on His love the lady at the gym or front desk, etc…will no longer be an issue because His love will be your priority.
Enjoy your holiday!