What would you do?

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Adventures in travel can often include life lessons.

I would like to think that I would have made a different choice if I were in this same situation….

A crowded plane, with only the middle seats available. A young father with dreads down to the middle of his back and a dirty bandana on his head. Two studs in his bottom lip, a worn out backpack on his back, and a cute little baby in one arm who appears to be about a year old. In his other arm, he holds a sippy cup and a little kids book. He obviously has his hands full, and he also looks a little weary.

He walks up and down the aisle looking for a seat. No one is moving, no one is making eye contact. All that is available are the middle seats. He finally picks a seat. Points to the middle seat, and starts to move in. The lady on the aisle, stand up, rolls her eyes, and waits rather impatiently as the man tries to manipulate his way into the tight space with his baby in his arms.

No one offers to move, no one offers to assist him. He quietly excuses himself and settles in to the middle seat.

I’m watching helplessly from a few rows back, stuck in the middle seat myself. Desperately wishing there was something I could do to help him.

Seriously hoping that given the same situation, I would have moved to the middle seat, and let the dad have the aisle seat.

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The peace of forgiving

“Forgiving does not erase the bitter past. A healed memory is not a deleted memory. Instead, forgiving what we cannot forget creates a new way to remember. We change the memory of our past into a hope for our future.”
― Lewis B. Smedes

Forgive and Forget: Healing the Hurts we Don’t Deserve” by Lewis B Smedes, is probably the best book I’ve ever read on the subject of forgiveness.

The impact it had on my life was a sense of freedom and release from the bondage of the inability to forgive.  I knew that it was the right thing to do, and I would often get to the point where I thought I could forgive, and then I would stop.

Nope! in my mind, I didn’t want to give the other person the privilege of my forgiveness.  I wanted them to feel the pain that I had felt! Maybe even more!

The reality of it is this, it just doesn’t work like that.

Anyone who is cruel enough to cause pain and not ask for forgiveness after the fact, does not feel any guilt or pain by our resistance to forgive them.  Their life goes on, and they probably continue in the same vein of hurting others.

They are not even giving a second thought to the deed done to me. But my life becomes consumed by unhealthy emotions.  I become conflicted with my own guilt over the unwillingness to forgive, and the bitterness and anger caused by the hurt and the pain.

I learned that the act of forgiveness does not mean that I can or should forget, nor is it required of me to forget. However, forgiveness is still required. It doesn’t mean that I never experienced the pain and the hurt, and it doesn’t mean that I will never remember it again. What it means is that I have made the choice to forgive.

And in choosing to forgive, I move forward with new hope and peace in my heart. I can’t excuse, tolerate or forget, I can only forgive.  And in forgiving, I am released from the bondage of guilt and bitterness.

(Interesting note, Lewis B Smedes died on this day in 2002.  I had no knowledge of this until today.  I am thankful for his insight into a very painful subject.  He certainly had an impact on my life.)

blogging in my sleep

I thought of something to write about as I was falling to sleep.  It was perfect!  I knew for sure that when I woke up this morning, I would be able to sit down at the computer, and type it all out in record-breaking time.

Well, things don’t always work out like I plan.  I have no idea what I was thinking about last night, and I’m sure that what I am writing right now, has nothing to do with my previous thoughts.

However….

I saw someone from my past today, and I was once again reminded of a choice that I made a little over a year a go, and I am so thankful that I took that step and made the choice to move in a new direction!

The choice to leave a job that I had for over seventeen and a half years!

Dr. Seuss quote

It was scary in the beginning, and I wasn’t sure where I was going, even now there are times when it’s all a little foreign to me, but I am confident of my decision, and I have no regrets.

Like the quote says, I have brains in my head!  

And with the love and support from my husband, (who is my very best friend), I am more confident today of who I am and where I am going, than I have been in a very, long time.