Magic

I love magic. **All people that know me rolls their eyes** My favorite books are Harry Potter and The Land of Stories, my favorite show is Once Upon a Time, and growing up I had recurring dreams about my twin brother and I saving the world… with magic (obviously!)

To me, magic is something that fills you with awe. It’s the unexplainable and beautiful things when we are often surrounded by quite the opposite.

I watched an episode of Charmed yesterday, a show about 3 sisters that find out they are witches, that sparked something in me. Not only was I grateful that watching Netflix all afternoon proved to be useful, but I also found myself thinking about the lesson it taught.

In this episode, the Halliwell sisters use their magic to teach a man, who’s dog keeps doing doing its ‘business’ on their driveway, a lesson. The premise of this show is that they are not supposed to use their powers for personal gain or for punishing the guilty; only to protect the innocent. The episode takes them forward in time to see the consequences of this one instance where they used their powers in the wrong way. In their futures they were wealthy (but lonely), had a child (but divorced), and one sentenced to death for killing a man that hurt someone she loved (punishing the guilty).

So I thought, “What would it be like if I saw my future?” Will I be successful at the expense of my health (I have an ‘over doing it’ problem)? Will I have skimmed through many wonderful experiences and only remember how anxious I was about everything being perfect? Or worse yet, will I be still searching for the person I want to be because I’m afraid to commit to the role God has laid out?

The lesson for me was two-fold.

1. Everything we do now matters. Everything you say, every way you react, every time you apologize (or don’t), every time you listen to the ways of the world and fall into temptation of worrying, money, shopping, busyness, rudeness, or being inhospitable, matters. Planting one seed of sin can grow very quickly. That’s not to say apologizing or asking God for forgiveness can’t wipe the slate clean, because it can. But when your pride and self righteousness gets in the way there is no room for growth, only for that sin to spread.

2. We can’t figure this out on our own. Today in church we read about James chapter 1. We talked about how your faith must not waver; you won’t have all the answers, but believe and true FAITH that you are making the choices God has laid in front of you helps you keep moving forward. You can ask God for help in your unbelief, but you cannot expect to live as the world wants you to and also be on God’s path. The road might be rocky, but James 1 explains steadfastness and strength comes from our trials. We will have things that are hard and seem wrong, but a lesson is being learned in everything we do.

Magic is defined as something influencing events by using mysterious forces. God is a mysterious force. To many people, the peace and understanding you have in God is mysterious and strange. When you’re at peace knowing the adventure you’re on doesn’t have a visible destination and yet you trust and wake up grateful for each new day, people will want a part of that. You are the magic in someone’s life. You can show others that there is a more peaceful and promising way to live.

I want to be magic.

I may not have sparks coming from my finger tips, or have the ability to move things with the wave of my wand (yet), but I do find something magical in finding strength in my abilities, confidence that I am an adventurous path, and faith that I have a guide along the way.

We all have the magic within to believe in the unseen, to love the unlovable and to change lives.

~Shelby

Kinder Than Necessary

It takes more work to be good. I keep thinking about this after a busy week. After seeing closed minded posts on social media, a parent being rude to me, teaching a crazy off the wall class at school…it had me feeling down.

We all have those thoughts that creep in. When we’re tired or upset or overworked it’s a lot harder to see through a clear lens. When people start clouding your focus with bad manners, hate and judgment it’s hard to filter that out to set the better example.

I listened to a podcast this week that talked about ‘being kinder than necessary.’ We’ve seen the Pinterest quotes and maybe even said the words ‘kill with kindness.’ How often do we actually employ this idea, all while letting go of anger or resentment towards the one that did you wrong? Being kind to someone’s face and then turning around to complain about it to someone else is not the same thing. Talking through a problem or asking advice is beneficial, but complaining is not. But seriously isn’t that the hardest?

I started thinking about this idea of being kinder than necessary. Showing love to the parent that was sarcastic and rude was difficult. Helping out a co-worker even when they should have accomplished that task already was not what I wanted to do. The thing about kindness is that it’s only kind if you do it out of compassion, concern and care for that situation. Have I done the kind thing so people think I’m a kind person? Oh, for sure. How often do we do the begrudgingly kind thing because we feel like we ‘should’ and not just because it is needed?

I struggle to see and hear closed mindedness. Sharing your thoughts is one thing, but doing it in a hateful or discriminatory way is never okay. We all have different ideas of what is right and wrong and the most important thing to remember is that each of us feel differently about different things. Assuming you’re the only right person and closing yourself off to conversation is not loving, it is judgmental. It’s also not kind.

It’s easier to be hateful and negative. It’s much harder to be loving. It’s harder to be willing to sit and listen to someone with a different mindset, without jumping in to correct them. It’s harder to accept differences than to categorize someone as bad or wrong. Listening can lead to some of the most fruitful conversations for both you, or for them.

In premarital counseling Marshall and I talked about how validating someone’s thoughts or feelings doesn’t mean you are agreeing they are right. You can validate why your husband thinks one thing, by listening and understanding them, without saying you agree. Validating a person’s feelings is important. If they ask for your opinion on the matter you can give a differing one, all while respecting how they might have come to their conclusion.

Allowing room for kindness, the kind you mean without a hidden motive, respect by listening, and love by caring are 3 essential parts of being a good human. Let’s all practice that today.

I bet you’re picturing that one difficult person in your life right now. How can you show kindness today? How will you balance kindness, validation and love without compromising yourself?

Let’s work on this together.

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She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.

Proverbs 31:26

(A reminder for me this week to speak kindly and teaching lovingly!)

 

~Shelby