Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thoughtful About . . . Our Reactions

First, I'm a guest today on Inkwell Inspirations, musing on how the Lord calms our storms. It's one of my favorite insights (even made its way into Whispers from the Shadows!), so do swing by!

The Child Handel by Margaret Isabel Dicksee

Now, I'll be honest. I didn't really want to blog today. I'm ten days out from my deadline, still have 10,000 words to cut from Circle of Spies, plus another read-through to check for typos, and I'm feeling the pressure. Not to mention that I still need to design a map for the front. And a family tree. Oh, and take care of a lot of WhiteFire business that I'm trying not to neglect.

Yeah. No pressure.

But let's, again be honest. When am I not pressed for time? LOL. So I tell myself to get over it. And I wonder what to muse on today. Slowly, the realization comes.

Reactions. This here, my blogging when I'd rather keep my nose to the manuscript-grindstone, is a reaction. A thought-out response to an internal debate. Not that big a deal, to be sure, but it's an indicator of how I react to the stressors in my life. Generally speaking, I moan and groan a little, then I get to work. One thing I thankfully inherited from my family is a strong work ethic. Maybe I'm not out in the fields planting crops or putting in long days at a job site, but from dawn to bedtime, I'm at my computer every moment I can be. Working on one or the other of my many projects. My hubby frequently walks by, sees me still at it, and says, "I wish I loved my job as much as you do!"

When it comes to work, I know my reactions are usually what they need to be. But life, now...those can be harder, can't they? But the more I pause to consider it, the more I realize that it's not just our actions that define us, that judge us--it's our reactions.

It's not just whether I set out to deal fairly--it's how I respond when someone deals unfairly with me.

It's not just that I teach my kids to obey--it's how I respond when they don't.

It's not just that I reach out in love--it's how I respond when someone lashes back at me.

My hubby has some hard business decisions before him (not for the publishing biz), and we were talking about it yesterday. Talking about how, if it were solely a business decision, the answer would be simple. But being us, we can't separate business decisions from moral decisions. We need to make sure we're doing what the Lord wants us to do.

Because when it comes down to it, we're not judged on how people treat us--we're judged on how we react to them. Sometimes, that goes against our ideas of "fair." And we want to think that the world will recognize that. Truth? They don't. They don't often care how long we're beaten up or snarled out. They only care whether we fight or forgive.

Now, God never instructed us to be doormats. So sometimes He'll call us to fight. To chastise. To punish. But other times, He calls us to relent. And knowing which is right in a given situation requires communication with Him.

As I'm in this time of looming deadlines, it's so easy to respond poorly. To yell when I should smile, to sigh when I should laugh, to growl when I should get up. But I'm challenging myself today to guard my every reaction, to treat it as if it were an action, deliberated and decided upon. To squelch the off-the-cuff and focus on the from-the-heart.

Because I know it matters. I know that's what defines me. And I know who I want to be.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this today. I'm in the middle of one of my most pressured seasons yet and it's easy to lose sight of the good stuff ... and the God stuff. I'll be trying to focus on better from-the-heart reactions today.

    Blessings on you and yours in the midst of your pressured season!