Did I really need to say that?

Do I need to say it?

DOES IT NEED TO BE SHARED?

Did I really need to say that?  Does it need said, shared or mentioned? Has anyone ever said something to you that you wonder why they felt the need to say that? Have you ever said something you thought was just a comment only to realize it went much deeper than you intended and perhaps you should not have said it?

Most people have opinions, suggestions and observations about a lot of things.  But, there are some people who have an opinion, comment or remark about almost everything.

I thinks it’s great and important for people to have opinions, I do not, however, think it is necessary for people to share their every opinion with others, unless they have been asked or encouraged in some way to share.  However, once you have shared your opinion be wise enough to let it go if your opinion is not readily accepted or appreciated.  And if what you are about to share is critical in any way, gauge the attitude of the person you want to share with to make sure what you are going to say will be received in the spirit in which it is meant.

Many times we don’t think we are being critical in what we are about to say or comment but because of the way we phrase it or the tone in which we say it, or even the attitude of the person we are speaking to, it ends up coming across as a critical statement and does nothing to assist or improve that relationship.

Many things are said with a negative slant that could be said in a much more positive way.  (Read my blog on It’s not what you say but how you say it) Yes it takes more effort to think before we speak, yes it is harder to attempt to “read” our audience before we speak, but in the long run if we take the time to do this it will enhance that relationship and not cause distance or walls to be built.  And when it comes to those that are close to us it is especially important for us to be aware of our words, tone and timing.  It is within those close relationships that we are most familiar and comfortable that we tend to forget to check our words, tone, intent and temperment of our intended recipient before we let the words come out.

When you feel the need to make that comment or share that opinion perhaps it may be best to pause and ask yourself a couple questions…

Is this a good time to make that comment?

Has the person asked or indicated they want my opinion, comment or suggestion?

Is my opinion really worth sharing or am I over estimating my audience’s curiosity or its interest  in what I have to say?

Is what I am about to say going to enhance my relationship with that person or cause damage or a disconnect?

I find that I hold back from sharing my opinion, comment or suggestion many times because I sense it will not be received in the spirit in which I mean it.  I am attempting to be more aware of the situations in which I feel compelled to share to make sure it is going to be a positive interaction.  I am not saying if you disagree with something someone has shared that you should not voice your opinion, I am saying that even in discussions coming from opposites sides there can be a positive interaction if both parties are listening as much as they are talking and know when it’s time to end the discussion and agree to disagree.   Many people thrive on debate type interactions and know when to be “done” so they will maintain that relationship on a level that works for both parties.

So speaking of opinions and comments, I would love to hear from you about this blog or any of the other ones I have posted.  I am aware that many will not agree with my thoughts, or opinions and it is not my goal to change anyone’s mind or make you agree with me,  it is only my goal to generate discussions, thought and perhaps some more insight into the subject.  As the title of my blog states…Just sharing…from my heart to you.

Paula

Eph. 4:29. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, so it may benefit those who listen.

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I know why I am blogging. (I think)

I wanted to reblog this post because ties into my next one. Comments appreciated.

Just sharing. From my heart to you.

Why am I blogging?

In my first blog I stated I really did not know exactly why I decided to start a blog but was going to go ahead anyway.

So recently I asked myself the question again.  I wanted to come up with an answer because I wanted to see if I had finally figured it out, and also to have an answer should I ever be asked why I decided to start a blog.

I am blogging because I think I have something to say.  I am blogging because I actually have opinions on subjects.  I have ideas, and what I think are creative solutions to everyday issues.  I am blogging because I can express my opinions better in writing then I can verbally.  I think my opinions matter, and I think how I feel about something is somehow validated if I can put into words.  I am…

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Destination Truth?

What is our truth destination?

What is our truth destination?

Destination Truth?

We were having a monumental snow and ice storm here in the North Carolina area, the worse they have had in 10 years.  It was quite a show of beautiful silently falling snow, a forest of sculptures  covered in snow, and a soon to be an ice encrusted world.

I spent this snowy, cold day watching a marathon of a reality show called Destination Truth.  For those of you who are not familiar with this show, it’s about a group of people, headed by Josh Gates, who search the world for “the truth”.  They look for proof of the various sightings of legendary animals, such as Big Foot and the Chupacabra, and unexplainable phenomena involving forests, castles, abandoned buildings, and burial sites.  It’s a fun show to watch for a couple of reasons, the places they go are unique and at times exotic, the things they look for are fascinatingly bizarre, and the host is very good at what he does, entertain.

Do they find the truth?  They haven’t yet, at least not that I have ever seen, but they certainly seem to enjoy the journey that is part of the search for the truth they are currently seeking.

Watching that show got me thinking about the phrase, “destination truth”. What is truth, is it not something we are all striving towards finding?  Then I thought do we really want to find “the truth”? If we found “the truth” we are looking for, can we, as part of that famous phrase goes, handle “the truth”?

Is our destination towards “the truth”?  Are we willing to make the journey to find “the truth”?  Are we willing to encounter all the various obstacles, friendly and scary, that we will find ourselves facing as we search for “the truth”?

What truth are you looking for?  What are you willing to do if you discover “the truth”?  Is “the truth” something you can handle at this point?  If you find “the truth” you are looking for, is it a truth you are willing to share?  If it is not worth sharing, is it worth finding?

Seeking “the truth” is different for everyone, because ‘”the truth” is different for everyone.  What I call “the truth” may not be something that you are willing to accept as “the truth”.  The journey that I take to find my “truth” will be very different from the journey that you will take to find your “truth”.  Isn’t that a wonderful thing?  It is by taking these different journeys that we become who we are and are able to share our truth with others and we are able to hear what others call “the truth”, and make our own choices as to whether that is “the truth” we wanted to hear or even accept.

“The truth” can be something you are looking for about a relationship, food, religion, history, exercise, politics and so on.  There are so many areas in which we can take that journey towards our “Destination Truth”.  I hope that you find whatever “truth” you are searching for, but more importantly I hope that you enjoy the journey that you take to find “the truth”.

Then you will know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.  John 8:32

Why not begin your journey today?

Paula

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It is not what you say, but how you say it.

Words

Words, words, words

It’s not what you say but how you say it…

How many times have you heard that?  How many times have you said it to someone?  My daughters can tell you that they heard it a lot from me especially in those pre-teen and teen years.  The tone that people use in their voices can tell you so much more than the words they say.  And while in this modern age of texting and email you can’t always tell the tone of the message the words are still there to convey the message, (and the occasional smiley face).

We all know that our words, spoken or written, can build up or tear down.  Our words can offer soothing comfort to someone or tear them down.  They can encourage, discourage, warm, freeze, build and destroy.  Words are so powerful, probably more powerful than we realize.

How many times have you said something not quite so nice only to follow it with “I was only kidding”?  Not realizing that once those words have been said they have already done damage, damage that cannot be easily repaired with a simple 4 word statement “I was only kidding”.

And how many times have we said something with a tone that belayed the true meaning of the words we are speaking?  A simple “I’m sorry”, with a condescending under tone is not truly  I’m sorry.  Words spoken harshly out of frustration or anger cannot be undone by a simple “that’s not what I meant”, or “I didn’t mean it to come across that way.”

I have heard it some people said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks, that statement is usually uttered when someone has said something unkind or mean.  While I agree with that statement I think that it needs to be remembered that it has a positive side to it.  If a heart is filled with joy, laughter, forgiveness, understanding and a desire to be kind, then the words that come out build up, encourage, move someone forward towards a goal, lift up the heart of someone who is struggling and can make the difference in someone’s day.

Yes, we all have bad days when our words could do more harm than good, and we all have those days when we can’t think of a blasted good thing to say about someone or something, and it’s those days when we need to guard our words, use them sparingly or not at all. On those bad days when our hearts are filled with anger, frustration, and possibly a lovely pity-party that no one else needs to be invited to, think before we speak, chose our words and tone carefully.

So, I encourage myself, and you, the next time we are tempted to say that sarcastic retort to a fellow human being let’s stop, take a breath, and think before we open our mouths and use those words to wound, or make a point (a point I might add that will be lost on our victim because of our tone), and let’s see if we can’t rephrase and re-tone that remark towards a more positive result.

 Ecclesiastes 6:11 “The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?”

I pray you each have an uplifting, encouraging day.

Winter Storm? Seriously?

Snow storm

Winter Storm?  Seriously?

 Let me start by saying that I lived in Northeast Ohio for all my life, I know winter storms.  I know about freezing temperatures, inches and inches of snow fall, icy roads, and blowing wind.  I know about below zero wind chills and sunless days that go on forever.  I know about snow as early as October and as late as March.  I know about driving in hazardous conditions, and about those drivers who act like they have never driven in snow before.  You know the ones that you are afraid of when you get out that first snow fall.  You can always tell who they are; they are the ones going full speed ahead through the snow and icy conditions.  The ones that you are thankful as they pass you and you are no longer behind, in front of, or anywhere near.

Winter is one big reason why about three years ago my husband and I moved to North Carolina.  Do we get winter here?  Yes we do, only it doesn’t last 6 months.  It’s a few months of cold temperatures but is punctuated with lovely warm temperatures, cloudless blue skies, a bit of rain, and sometimes, only sometimes snow and ice.

The biggest difference between winter in Ohio and winter in North Carolina is their reaction to the possibility of snowy conditions.

Last week there is a winter storm warning out for my area and areas south of us. The people prepared.  Grocery shelves were cleared of bread, water, milk and other staples.  Schools and offices were closed in preemptive anticipation of the snow and for days afterwards.  Kids were giddy with the expectations of playing in the lovely fluffy white stuff that will be covering their yards.  Parents were frantic trying to figure out how they will survive this emergency trapped in their homes.  Doesn’t seem to matter that any snow we were forecasted to get will most likely be gone by the next day, temps will warm up and people will be back out walking, running, riding bikes and working in their yards.

Sure enough the snow came, it was cold by North Carolina standards, but by the next day most of the snow was gone, the sun was shining and the roads were dry.  It was actually a lovely interlude in the non winter like weather we get here.  Snow always makes things look fresh and clean, like a new beginning.  And even as it melts you see the green grass showing through and sense that spring will come and once again flowers will be blooming, trees filling out and the temperatures will rise.  And we have survived yet another winter in North Carolina.

Instead of dreading winter I think we need to look at it like a new beginning, the moments before new life begins, a brief interlude before spring.   And spring always comes, although at times when I lived in Ohio I was sure we would never see spring again, yet it managed to show up.  We are in the winter months of snow, cold, ice and clouds but need to keep focused on the simple fact that SPRING ALWAYS COMES.  You will see grass, flowers, green leaves, gardens and your long lost neighbors.

So as you look out and see yet another day of winter, find something positive about the day and focus on that.  Why waste energy being negative or sad over something we have no control over?

I plan on enjoying my day and I hope you enjoy yours.

Paula