Can I get a reply???

Last night, I was laughing with a guy that I had sent a text to. The center of the ‘joke’ was that I sent him a text message that he didn’t respond to. What made it ‘funnier’ is that, I waited a day and sent him a follow-up message asking the same question, which he still didn’t respond to. His reasoning for not responding was that he figured that I already had the answer. Hmm…

All of my friends and family know that I write about what I experience. This transparency keeps my letters fresh and every changing. This messaging thing wasn’t a big deal until I began to think about how many times people don’t respond to messages. I say messages because it’s not just text messages, but also email, social media, and old-fashioned voicemail messages, which begs to ask the question, “Why?”

There’s an old saying, “The more I teach you, the dumber I get!” This is the way I feel about messaging in general. The more ways that we have accessible to us, the less that we ACTUALLY use them. I remember year ago when one of the high points of the day was arriving home to check the ‘answering machine’. The worse thing that you could see was that zero, no messages!! And as I think back, the crazy part is that we only returned half of those calls then!!! Our reasoning for not returning ALL of the calls was because knew that so-and-so was going to call back anyway. So, we’ll just wait. But, that’s jacked up! The person already called. Why don’t we just call them back?

In plain, uncut, unreserved English… the reason that we don’t respond is respect. When my mom would make me clean my room, it would stay clean seemingly for months. I know my dad would not agree but, it stayed clean for a long time because, after I had put in all of that hard work, I loved what my room felt like. I loved having it. I respected not only the work that was done but the outcome. Now, MY children, on the other hand, they do a haphazard job of cleaning their rooms. Most of the time, I give them a pass because I’d rather not keep fussing at them or end up whoopin’ them due to their lack of focus. But, when they ‘finish’ cleaning their rooms and get the okay… You can count to three, go back into the rooms and see a brand new mess!!! They didn’t respect their own work. So, they see no value in keeping it up…

Whether we’ll admit it, or not, when we don’t respond to messages, all we are saying is that we don’t value, or respect, the person that left or sent the message. We may not go as far as dishonoring them but we don’t respect them enough to answer them immediately.

Here’s a real life example… One of my partners is in Florida. He called and left a message for me to call him back. When he called, I was in the middle of a conversation and decided to call him back when I was finished. Well, one thing lead to another and a few hours later… He sent me another message saying that he was with another guy and they were talking about me. And he wanted me to call him. Well, three things happened… (1) Oh crap, I forgot to call him back!!! (2) He’s talking to who? About me? (3) I called. Now, here’s the paradox, the three things happened in less than 30 seconds whereas my initial response would have still been ‘pending’!! I didn’t show my partner his due respect by calling him back in a reasonable amount of time but, when he added another layer my response was different.

We ALL do it ALL of the time and quite honestly, it’s not right. What makes it worse is that we think nothing about doing it to others but when they do it to us, we get all bent out of shape. We get bothered because we know we’ve been dissed… But, what about the people WE dissed?

So, first, I’d like to apologize to everyone that I’ve put off and didn’t return your message in a timely manner. Secondly, starting NOW, I will make a real effort to not continue in that path!!

Oops, I almost forgot…
Bill collectors, y’all keep leaving those messages. I ain’t calling you back!!! I’m just sayin’

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie

 

How to deal with change…

Ecclesiastes 3:1 ESV says, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:” From the very beginning, our lives are filled with changes. Nothing, other than God, ever remains the same. Everything changes. Life is change. Life is hard. Life is painful. Life isn’t fair. And if Life is all of these things then so is change.

The problem that we face is that we don’t deal with life properly and subsequently when life happens then we’re all jacked up. And just for the record, the words ‘Life’ and ‘Change’ can be interchanged throughout this entire letter as they are one in the same… The reason that we’re all jacked up is that we have learned to place our attention on specific events in our lives and we have deemed these moments as the turning point or catalyst that has created who we are. So, whenever new things happen in our lives that remind us of that historic moment, we reach back and respond to the new thing in the old way.

Here’s a question for you… Growing up, what was your best, or most favorite, birthday? Do you remember how old you were? For me, my coolest birthday was, I believe, my 8th or 10th birthday. I call it my Chocolate Birthday. This particular year my request from my parents was that I wanted nothing but chocolate!!! And guess what, they did it for me!!! I had chocolate cake with chocolate icing, chocolate milk, chocolate ice cream, chocolate candies everywhere… It was amazing!!! Kids bouncing from everywhere!!! Now, here’s the next part of the question… Do you remember the day after that special birthday? What about the day before?

You see, this is what we do. We hold fast to one moment, or event in time, and call that ‘ME’. Does my having a Chocolate Birthday make ME a Chocolate Birthday man? No… Now, that was a positive moment. What about the negatives? My parents beat me, I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth, I was adopted, my girlfriend left me, they never picked me to play basketball, and the stories go on and on. But, does this story encapsulate the entirety of who you are? Does that one passing moment forever change the makeup of what makes you the person you see in the mirror? Let me help you… NO, it doesn’t!!!

The key thing to remember is that these were passing moments. It is our choice to hold onto these moments. So, if we can choose to hold these moments with a death grip then we can also choose to hold them lightly. I’m not saying to just let them go as if they never happened because they did happen. But, we don’t HAVE to let these moments guide the rest our lives.

What’s even crazier is the fact that we hold to the negative moments more than the positives. In looking at life as a movie, there is a storyline that is played out from start to finish. It is OUR storyline but there are little plots scattered throughout. Have you ever seen the Young & the Restless? Why is Ms. Chancellor still alive? I’m sorry… SQUIRREL!!! But, this character has been on the series forever. She’s like the energizer bunny… going and going and going. But, her part doesn’t make the whole show. And that’s what I want you to take away today…

In dealing with life, we need to accept that it is what it is. The Bible calls it short and full of trouble. Frankie Beverley & Maze called it, “Joy and Pain”. I call it ever-changing…

So, how do you deal with change? Accept that change is inevitable and focus on your desired end. Focus on your goals. Focus on the finish line. Realize that change is only the hurdles standing between you and the finish line and jump over them AS you are running. Don’t stop at each hurdle. Don’t nurse each hurdle trying make sure it’s okay… NO, run and jump over each one. Sometimes, you will catch a hurdle with your foot or scratch your knee but that’ll only knock down the hurdle and slow you up… Keep running!!! When you get to the finish line and look back, all you’ll see is that fact that you ran the race!!!! The hurdles are inconsequential and unimportant!!! Change is the same way. Change happens… Keep it pushing and know that the race is worth it!!!

You are not what they said that you are!! You are a WINNER!!! You can do this!!!

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,
Jackie