I was telling my husband last night that there is a twinge of me that looks at my relationship with God as bittersweet. The closer you get to God is like staring in one of those super magnified mirrors that I hate looking in, but once I do, I see all the black heads and eye brows that need plucking.
I’ve noticed that as my relationship with God grows, I am continuing to see the imperfections of myself. Before, I thought I was pretty darn close-to perfect. Ha!
Yesterday was another “AHA” moment at the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group. The speaker, Marla Smart, also blogged about this here:http://marlasmart.wordpress.com/.
“How do you make decisions?” she asked.
For awhile now, I have been working on my decision making because I am pretty spontaneous. I don’t really think things through which is why I have small disasters all the time like setting food on the edge of a counter until it crashes or banging on the DVD player to work until it really does break.
Every action needs serious thought. This can be really hard as most of us humans are built to go fast, be efficient with our time and always have a million things to do in a day.
Marla said that there are spontaneous decision makers and strategic decision makers and that we should always aim to be strategic.
The grunt of these spontaneous decisions isn’t really about the plate of food that I thought could balance on the side of the table, but mostly in our relationships. How often emotions take over our decision making process when we act spontaneously or in-the-moment.
Talking with our spouses, disciplining our children and so many other times we make quick decisions without thinking. We end up saying things we don’t mean or acting a way we wouldn’t usually act. All these things leave imprints. Our children will remember, our spouses will forgive-but not forget.
Think about your thinking. Do you take the time? Do you take out your emotions in the decision process? Do you research every way it can be done? Look at all the details?
So many times I have come home with a purchase or made a decision and Chris will ask, “Did you ask them this?” “Did you try this?” There are always so many things that I didn’t think of and after spending the time, I realize that it maybe was not a good decision.
Marla brought up an exemplary conversation her husband and her continually have regarding picking the night’s restaurant. I had to laugh because my husband and I do the exact same verbal dance.
Chris: OK, we can eat out. Where do you want to go?
Me: It doesn’t matter. You pick.
Chris: I don’t care. You decide.
Me: I always pick. You pick this time. Really, I don’t care. Just not Chinese, please.
Chris: OK, how about Mexican?
Me: Mmm. I’m not in the mood for that either.
Chris: OK, how about sushi?
Me: No, I’m too hungry.
So, maybe you get the picture. This little dance will go on for awhile until I have managed to pick the restaurant after promising Chris he could pick.
He called me on this not too long ago and told me, “Hey, even when you say I can pick- you end up picking.” I was kind of taken aback. I had no idea that was totally going on with something as silly as where to eat for dinner. That mirror was in front of my face and I saw that I always do that.
Whatever it was for me, whether it be a process of elimination, my own selfish act of my happiness, thinking of Audrey and what works for her, or acting out of emotions – a strategic decision needed to be put in place. When I say that he can pick, I zip-it.
With discipline and other big choices, Chris and I do work off a list that we have already established. The “no-no’s” and then the consequences for those. It is organized. Strategic.
However, we are always caught off guard with impromptu decisions that need to be made quick and my goal is to still spend a minute thinking about it, calling my husband to talk it over and praying about it. That seems like a lot when there are children screaming and you feel like a buzzer is going to ding if you don’t hurry up and make a decision, but all of our actions matter.
Every decision we make, matters. It changes your day, the future, your child.
It can be really scary to look at yourself that close-up in a mirror, but then you can dig deep and start fixing the roots of all the little imperfections we have.
So let’s be still, be slow to anger, be slow to speak, be quick to forgive and be patient in all things. Be slow to decide.