3 Things That Transformed My Relationships

pexels-photo-206409.jpeg

I am usually pretty happy, outgoing, and can be quite social if I choose to be. While these sound like characteristics of a extrovert, I am definitely a introvert. It doesn’t always work in my favor. I need alone time. I need quiet time. I need time to recharge after being with a lot of people. But my biggest struggle with being an introvert isn’t any of those things, it is making meaningful connections and relationships with people.

I don’t think I am socially awkward. It isn’t the talking or connecting with people that is hard, it is making meaningful ones that lead to strong friendships and relationships with people.

My husband is great at this. People almost always love him. They like being his friend. He keeps friends forever and makes new ones no problem. While it is a piece of cake for him, it isn’t that easy for me. However, I am on the road to being more intentional and not being afraid to put myself out there to make those meaningful relationships and connections with people.

I have three things that are currently and have already transformed existing relationships and are helping me to build new ones with less fear. I genuinely hope they help you to create stronger relationship you currently have, develop new ones, and transform the way you interact with people wherever you fall on the spectrum.

  1. Read The 5 Love Languages. This book made ALL of the difference in my life. It is by Dr. Gary Chapman. I read it when I first met my now husband. I thought we had a good relationship. Sure, we fought and argued sometimes, but doesn’t every couple? Yeah. People fight. That is normal, but you know what decreased significantly after I read this book? FIGHTING. I honestly cannot think of a serious argument we have had since then. I can’t say this book will or will not do that for you, but I can say it helped me to understand, appreciate, and love my husband better. After reading this I found that my husband showed me love all day everyday, but before the book clued me in I was missing it. Yes, this book is geared towards romantic relationships but the principles can be used with your children, your family, and friends. I promise!

  2. Reach out. I do not do this enough. I know that. I get caught up in housework, appointments, and daily tasks. I forget to reach out. Ask how someone is doing. Wish them a happy birthday. Let them know I have been thinking about them. It isn’t that I don’t want to do these things, or that they haven’t actually been on my mind. It is that I don’t slow down to take the time to do it. With a little planning, and I mean very little, I am able to get out a birthday card. Remember they have a big interview coming up. Wish them luck. Ask how their vacation was. Let them know they are on my mind. I put reminders in my phone. It might seem like a task or chore by doing it this way to some, but it helps me to stay on top of it and to let others know I really care even though life is sometimes busy.

  3. Let go of fear. This one I need more help with than the rest. The book gave me practical tips and brought me to the light, reaching out is as simple as making time, but letting go of fear is easier said, than actually done. I for some reason am so afraid of rejection that probably doesn’t even exist. I am terrified to join new groups or clubs on my own. I usually wait for an invite instead of inviting others to do things with me. I am so scared of being told “I can’t come.” “I am busy.” “I have other plans.” Or worse, showing up somewhere alone and being the one who knows nobody. I am slowly saying no to fear. My word for 2018 is FEARLESS. It is my mission, because I know that beyond my fear is meaningful and strong friendships if I can just let go. I have a couple scriptures I am using to help myself, but I by no means claim this to be the thing I rock at. It’s a work in progress, but I identify the need and that is transforming in itself.

Here is my encouragement:

‘This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”’ Joshua 1:9

‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.’ 2 Timothy 1:7

‘For I hold you by your right hand— I, the Lord your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.’ Isaiah 41:13

‘Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. ‘ Philippians 4:6

 

Advertisements

Faith Friday: How Music Changed My Attitude

IMG_0496

@YouVersion

Back at the start of the New Year I committed to listening to only Christian music for the whole month of January. Everyone around me was setting goals for things like personal health and achieving more at work. I was coming out of some sorrow in my life (A story for another time), and I was wanting to grow my faith. I found that by listening to positive, faith-growing, spirited music my heart and attitude took a shift.

I am the first to admit I have a bit of road rage. Slow drivers, truckers in the middle or left lane, and that one car in heavy traffic that can’t just stay in their lane. They all drive me CRAZY! You know what else drives me crazy, people who stand in the middle of aisle on a Saturday at the grocery store. Anyone else feel their blood boil when these things happen? While I might never say anything to these people, my face, my heart, and my attitude usually says it all.

This is where I didn’t expect music to change me.

With just a simple month of music, I found myself more joyful, patient, kind, forgiving, and loving towards people.


Galatians 5:22-23 ” But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against these things!” NLT.


By changing one simple thing in my life and shifting it towards God, it made me more of the things He calls me to be. Galatians spells out what the Holy Spirit can produce in our lives, but I just needed to open that area of my life to allow for that kind of fruit to be produced. I cannot serve or love others when I am too busy being upset about why they don’t move faster. Honestly, there isn’t anything on Earth that having a bitter heart is going to change, but we have all seen kindness, extra patience, and self-control change the world. My motto has always been “Leave people and things better than you find them”. I find that with the simple change in the music I listen too, I am more able to embody my motto and Christ’s heart.

Sometimes I would turn on that radio in a moment of boiling blood, and the Holy Spirit would gently break me down, calm me down, and quiet my angry heart. If you find yourself struggling to keep your cool in the front seat, maybe the aisles of the grocery store, possibly at work, or with your spouse and children, I encourage you to find some positive, faith-filled music. It has made all the difference in my attitude towards others, especially in those moments that my flesh is annoyed and angry.

My prayers go out today for anyone struggling with a bad attitude like myself. It can be hard to overcome those emotions when they are all too real in the moment, but I really believe that this change allowed me to become more of what God intended for me. It allowed the Holy Spirit in my daily life, and allowed me to see others in a new light. I also believe that it can do the same for you.

If you are looking for some good song to get started, here is a few favorites:

“You won’t let go”- Michael W. Smith

“Fear is a liar”-Zach Williams

“Holy Spirit”- Francesca Battistelli

“Oh come to the alter”- Elevation Worship

“Do it again”- Elevation Worship

“Touch the sky”- Hillsong United

“Point to you”- We Are Messengers

“I just need you”- TobyMac

My favorite radio stations:

K-LOVE Radio- They have local stations all over the U.S. You can check here to find yours!

The Message- If you listen to SiriusXM radio try out this channel! XM 63.

Need a good daily devotional for women? Here is my favorite!