Posts Tagged ‘Frustration’

Photo Credit: cellar_door_films via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: cellar_door_films via Compfight cc

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like you’re a failure no matter what you do? Or how about one where you walk away defeated every time a certain person speaks to you? Or maybe you’ve been in one where you feel like you’re just hanging on for dear life and are afraid to let go for fear that you will fall further than you can get back from. I can honestly say I’ve been there. In fact, I can think of at least one situation in my life right now where I feel like that.

The question I have at times like this is, do I give up or do I hang on? The reality is, I could do either one. And either could turn out for my good because there are good and bad to both decisions. Currently, I have a situation whereby I have to decide if I need to stay where I am at or look for a change. That’s difficult for me because I have invested a lot of time and effort into this situation. I have worked hard and have had a lot of successes. There was a point when I woke up wanting to be a part of this situation.

Those days have passed. So now, I have to ask myself, do I stay or do I go? Do I survive or do I live? Do I give up or do I let go? That last question might seem like I’m asking the same question twice. But I’m not. Giving up means I stop trying. I just give up and let things fall as they will. Letting go means, I make a choice to walk away. I’m not giving up; I’m choosing a different path. Giving up means I probably stay in the situation that is defeating me. Letting go means I look for an opportunity to learn and grow and change – and hopefully be built up.

Right now, I feel sometimes like all I do is survive. I do what I have always done because it’s what has worked for me in the past. I’ve probably mentioned I like to stay in my comfort zone. That’s because I know it works for me. The problem is, I think I’ve become stagnant. And that is probably part of the reason I feel frustrated and defeated all the time. I’m tired of doing the same thing, expecting a different outcome. That never works for me (duh!). Instead of things getting better, I fall further and further into defeat until eventually, I either am forced to get out, or I fall so far I can’t get myself out.

I no longer want to survive. I want to live. I want to grow. I want to be built up and build others up. I do not want to stay stuck in a place where there never seems to be a win any longer. I no longer want to be in a place where I feel like I’m a failure every single day of my life. I no longer want to listen to all the things I’m doing wrong (and believe me there are lots of them). I want to hear what I’m doing right once in a while. I’m tired of dwelling on the negative. I want to hear and see the positive.

So, the question I pose to myself today is: “Are you going to give up or are you going to let go?”

Your turn! Have you ever been in a situation where you spent each day feeling defeated? What did you do (or are you doing) to better that situation? Do you think there’s a difference between giving up and letting go? I’d love to hear from you!

~Until Next Time,

Karen Signature

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Photo Credit: Mundoo via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Mundoo via Compfight cc

It’s hard to believe it’s been almost an entire week since I left New York. How time flies when you’re busy, right? Anyway, I had intended to keep up with my blog while I was there, but got a little busy after the first couple of days. In fact, I did more driving in that week and a half I was in New York than I do in six months (no joke). It was a lot of fun, and when it came time to leave, I found it quite difficult.

While I was there, I went to visit one of my brothers and his family. I decided that I was going to stop off at my uncle’s house to see my grandmother on the way there. So, I got the address, and general directions, but I figured I’d be fine. After all, I had my phone, which I use for GPS all the time. There was one small problem with that plan – when I hit the little town of Pitcher, the signal on my phone was gone. And I don’t mean it was just slow or spotty. It was completely gone. I freaked out just a little because I had no idea how much I relied on my phone until I didn’t have it to rely on any longer. I pulled over, and tried to get it to work, but to no avail. So, I started driving in what I was assuming was the correct direction, thinking if I could just go a little further, I might get my signal back. In the meantime, I had someone behind me, who was probably getting quite irritated at the crazy lady driver in front of him. So, thinking I’d get out of his way, I pulled into the drive of a church – all the way up to the grassy parking lot.

Now, if you know anything about New York in March, you probably know that it can be cold or warm, snowy or sunny, or any combination of weather. On that day, it happened to be warm and sunny. And when it gets warm, a grassy parking lot is not exactly the best place to stop. See, I, in my infinite wisdom (or lack thereof), stopped on that grassy lot, and tried to figure out how to get a signal on my phone. Within a few moments, I realized it wasn’t going to happen, so I tried to leave. To my horror, the car didn’t want to leave. It was stuck in the mud. I tried for probably a good 20 minutes to get out of that parking lot on my own – making things worse with each passing moment. Finally realizing that I wasn’t going to be able to do anything about the car on my own, I decided that I was going to try to find someone home. So, I knocked on the door of someone across the street. She was quite friendly and gave me some ideas – which probably would have worked for someone other than me. In the end, she and two other people came over to help me get out of the mud. My car and sneakers were covered in mud. The situation seems quite funny now, but at the time, I was frustrated and annoyed and ready to just throw in the towel.

See, while I was trying to get out of that mess on my own, I was praying. I was asking God to get me out of the mess I had gotten myself into. In fact, at one point, I believe I even asked Him why He’d allowed me to get stuck in the first place – as if I hadn’t made any decisions on my own. I had been so focused on relying on my phone, that I forgot to rely on the only one who is able to be relied on at all times. Now, I believe God sent those people over to help me. I truly do because I don’t even know where two of them came from. I only talked to the one lady, but three people came over to help me. And in true small-town fashion, we stood around talking and laughing at the situation afterward. But the moment that could have ended in more frustration didn’t end that way. It ended with me feeling blessed by three people whose names I don’t even know.

I believe God was answering my prayer before I even thought to pray it. I believe He orchestrated events to allow me to learn something. This is what I learned that day. I need to stop relying on myself and everyone else so much. I need to rely more on God. I worry too much about what is going to happen and forget to rely on God. I am so busy trying to control everything that I forget that I don’t really control anything. I whine and complain about the bad stuff instead of remembering Romans 8:28 that tells me that God “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God” (NASB). I forget that He can use even being stuck in the mud to bring about something good in my life.

In the end, I made the rest of the trip to see my grandmother and my brother and his family with no further issues. But I walked away with a lesson that I hope never to forget. Even when I feel stuck in the mud, God is there, and He is working things out for my good. I don’t have to stress and whine and complain. I can rest in His promise that He is there with me, through everything. And HE is in control.

What about you? Have you had times when you felt like you were “stuck in the mud?” What do you do in those instances? Do you try to control more or do you let it go and trust it will work out?

~Until Next Time,

Karen Signature

 

By Chris Sardegna

By Chris Sardegna

I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I like things my way. I make plans all the time, and when things don’t go the way I planned, I get a “little” upset. I’ve gotten somewhat better over the years, as I have come to realize that not everything is going to go my way, but those little frustrations still arise when things don’t go quite right. That’s when I find I have to be careful. My tendency at those times is to whine, complain, explode or any combination of those. And when that happens, I want to just stop what I’m doing and quit. I wish my first response were to take it in stride, but most times, it’s not.

For instance, this morning, as I was running, my app decided to kick me out mid-run. Now, I was having a good run this morning, and it really irked me that my app stopped working. I couldn’t get it to let me back in, and boy was I mad. I had a few choice words to say about my phone and the app at that point, and they weren’t ones I am willing to repeat. I’m not proud of myself for those moments, but those moments do happen. At that point, I almost said, “Forget it! I’m done running today!” Thankfully, I’ve come a long way from where I was a few months ago, so this little setback didn’t stop me from going forward. So, instead of quitting, I just finished my run. I knew when I had started, so I knew when I was supposed to run until, so there was no reason I couldn’t finish. But that one little frustration almost made me throw in the towel.

The truth of the matter is, there are always going to be things I can’t control. My plans are always going to have unexpected things thrown at them, and that’s OK. In fact, Proverbs 16 has a lot to say about man’s plans. I think the one that sticks out to me the most is Proverbs 16:9: “A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps” (NASB). I can make all the plans I want, but if that’s not where God wants me to be, I’m probably not going to end up there. In some ways that’s a frustration. I mean, I want things to go my way. I make all these plans, and they’re good plans. So, why would God want me to go a different way than what I planned? But on the other hand, it’s also a comfort. I don’t have to worry if things don’t work out the way I planned because God is directing my steps. I need to trust that He knows better than I what is in store for me. He has His own plans and purposes for my life, and as a follower of Him, my job is to follow where He leads. That’s comforting because it means I don’t have to figure it all out on my own. I am never alone on this journey. I always have a Helper who is ready, willing and able to direct my steps.

So, as I go forward on this journey through life, my goal is to become the type of person that takes the unexpected and looks for the opportunity in it. I don’t just want that to be a one time thing. Rather, I want it to become a characteristic of mine, so as I make my plans, I am striving to become flexible, resilient and willing to change direction if necessary.

How about you? How do you handle the little frustrations in life? Are you like me, and like to have things your way? Or are you more open to things going a different way?

~Until Next Time,

Karen Signature

Tonight I find that I am very frustrated.  My younger daughter, Kayli, is 12 years old.  She’ll be 13 in July.  She is going through this stage where it seems like everything is drama.  Every time she gets “in trouble,” it’s the end of the world.  Every time someone looks at her funny, she throws a fit, and the fighting with her older sister is unbearable at times.  She feels the need to be sarcastic and talk back at the drop of  a hat, and fights doing what she’s been asked to do like she’s being asked to do the impossible.

It’s frustrating for me because it’s when I most need her to be drama-free that she has “one of those days.”  For instance, I need her to pack up her room.  She told me she was all done, but when I went in, she had stuff all over the floor and her bed.  I didn’t even dare look in her closet.  She’s down to 2 days to get done, and she’s fighting it tooth and nail. (So is her sister, but she’s a different story altogether.)  Her reasoning for not packing those things?  “I’m not taking them with me.”

Now, I don’t recall actually giving her a choice.  She apparently thought that if she wasn’t taking them, she didn’t have to pack them.  The reality is, she is taking them.  She just isn’t taking them to where she is going to stay for the last 6 weeks of school.  Apparently, I would be packing up for her.  In any case, I’m frustrated.  When I get frustrated, I tend to get angry.  When I get angry, I tend to say things in a way that is less than exemplary.

I feel bad for that because I don’t want my daughter to think it’s right to “blow up” when she’s upset.  I feel it’s healthy to express feelings of anger, but in an appropriate way.  So, I am very frustrated that no matter how hard I try, I always seem to fail in this area.  I often find myself raising my voice, or using words I normally wouldn’t.  There are days that I do ok in this area.  But more often, I fail.  I wish that there was a “shut off” button on my mouth, so I could just walk away and not talk.  But there is something inside me that say “I MUST SAY THIS” and out it pops!

What do you do when you feel like this?  I could use some good practical advice.  Counting to 10 or 100 doesn’t really work for me. Walking away does occasionally, but often not.  So, what other ideas do you have that might be able to help me in this area?

Until Next Time,