The Reprimand: 3 top tips for dealing with rebuke and disapproval

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You are trekking along, minding your own business, working hard and it happens. Maybe you did something wrong, maybe you were misunderstood, maybe it was an accident, never the less, you were reprimanded. It happens to the best of us. As a child many of us were reprimanded and although we never liked it, it was often an expected and normal part of growing up. As an adult however, it’s a whole different story. We are used to being autonomous, following through with our own plans, making our own decision. To be told you are wrong, or have done something wrong, stings a whole lot more and injurers our pride in a way it never did when we were children.

It happened to me recently. Something I innocently and casually said was interpreted as being rude and disrespectful and I was dutifully informed that my attitude had to change. I was mortified, I had not intended to be rude or disrespectful and couldn’t imagine how what I had said could have been so wrongfully interpreted. My first, internal response was one of indignation and a sense of injustice- ‘didn’t they know that anyone who knows me, would never accuse me of being rude and disrespectful or of having a bad attitude?!’. Even though my inner self was looking a little like this…

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Wisdom has taught me to push those initial feelings aside and respond in a different manner. Here are my top three tips for dealing with a reprimand…

1) Apologise…

Our first reaction to being told we’re wrong is often a defensive one. Our prideful nature would have us say- ‘how dare they tell us we’re wrong’, ‘ I don’t bring up all the things they do wrong’, ‘can’t they see all the hard work and positive things I’m doing?’, ‘how could they misunderstand me like that?‘.

Jumping into defence mode will only bring grief and trouble. James 4:6 says “God opposes the proud but shows favour to the humble”, I think the same goes for human beings too. You are more likely to meet opposition to your plea of innocence or forgiveness if you jump straight into defence mode, it will only bring more grief and trouble than the situation is worth. Humbling yourself and apologising (however difficult it may be and despite wether you were ‘right’ or ‘wrong’) will always calm and defuse a situation and help create open channels for communications

2) Reflect…

After the reprimand has happened, take some time to reflect. The saying ‘ you learn something new every day’ doesn’t just refer to classroom knowledge or random fun facts- every part of our lives is an opportunity to learn… Were you at fault? Was there something you could have done differently? Perhaps you weren’t at fault and the other person was having a bad day? How can you be sensitive to others needs and minimise future misunderstandings? Is this your issue or someone else’s issue?

Self reflection goes a long way in moulding us into strong, emotionally healthy people. It also encourages our creative thinking skills and helps prevent us from repeating the same mistakes over and over again (the definition of insanity, as the saying goes!). If you’re not used to self reflecting this can be difficult to start with. Taking a journal, finding some spare time and a safe, peaceful place to think are all useful tips to get you started. Forewarning: It’s not always pleasant to shine a light on your inner life and see whats hiding there, you may not always like what you find. Go easy on yourself, we are all on a journey and each step forward brings us closer to our destination and to becoming the kind of people we were created to be.

3) Let it go…

Now that you’ve apologised and reflected, it’s time to move forward. I know this seems a little harsh, but ultimately non of us are perfect and we all make mistakes. Our minds are powerful tools and if allowed, will wreak havoc on our internal life. It will replay situations and dredge up old feeling until they become bigger than Ben Hur (look that one up in Urban Dictionary if you need to!) and appear as reality.

When those thoughts and feeling start to surface you have the power to tell your mind to let it go, consciously make a decision to let go of the offence, hurt and anger. A useful tip for doing this is thinking or speaking aloud the good things about the person in question, or telling yourself the valuable lessons you learnt from this situation etc. Philippians 4:8 tells us that thinking about what is true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable is one of the ways we can have inner peace and joy. There will always be trials, disagreements, hurts and disappointments but if we carried around baggage from every encounter, we would never be able to stand up under the weight of them. Let it go.

Nobody likes to be reprimanded but at the end of the day you can’t let bumps in the road throw you off course, ruin your day or week or year. Apologise, reflect, let it go, then dust yourself off, get back up and keep moving forward. You have value and purpose and a unique contribution to make to this world. Being buried under your failures, mistakes, hurts or resentments only holds you back from reaching your full potential. Breath and smile, the emotions of today will fade tomorrow and in the years to come, the mountains you see now will look far off and insignificant.

Much Love,

Amy

Ps. Please feel free to comment below. I’d love to hear your experiences and advice for dealing with reprimands and other tough situations!

Gratitude and Tea

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Last weekend I took a little trip across the border to Oman with some friends from work. To be honest, I was actually dreading it. It had been such a busy week ,I just couldn’t get my head around leaving the country and spending the weekend away from the comfort of my home, but…I’m so glad I went!

As I woke to the sun rising, I stretched and smiled… a night of sleeping on the beach, under the stars, snuggled under blankets, feeling the ocean breeze whip around me. Bliss. After breakfast we eased our way into the cold water and braved a morning swim. As I floated in the clear, cold water, looking about, it hit me…I am in OMAN, swimming in the ARABIAN SEA! How in the world had I, a little country girl from Australia, ended up living this life?! It was a life I had always wanted: travel, adventure, new friends, challenging job. Yet it was a life I never thought I would have.

My primary school teacher had told my parents that I was a nice friendly girl, but that I wouldn’t amount to much. Maybe he was right, I probably shouldn’t have amounted to much. I didn’t come from a wealthy family, I came from a broken family with alcoholic parents and a house that held lots of anger, fear and resentments. But I have also belonged to another family, a heavenly family with a heavenly Father. A Heavenly Father that loves, protects, defends, guides, blesses, cares for and calls me out of darkness and into light.

As our journey through Oman continued, I felt overwhelmed with gratitude. Tears kept filling my eyes (behind my sun glasses, thank goodness) as I thought about all the wonderful things that have taken place in my life over the last 12 months. A few days later, I was sitting at a dinner table with friends (new friends, but friends I feel as if I’ve always known). We were drinking tea, playing music and complaining about the taste of Stevia and the same thing happened- it hit me. An overwhelming joy and gratitude for life, all of it! The joy, the pain, the disappointment, the rejection, the uncertainty, the anger, the fun, the adventure, the laughter and the people. The people that shape us, challenge us and add a rich blessing to our lives.

As I survey my life, I look about my family and marvel! We survived the trials and we are succeeding. There is great love and affection and a fierce loyalty among us. I have an amazing Mum who fought for consistency, diligently took us to church and taught us Godly values even in the midst of chaos. I have siblings that I love and whom inspire me. I have a Dad and extended family that are resilient, caring and always put family first. I have friends that love me just as I am and make me want to be a better person…What the world said was ordinary and destined to fail, God has turned for good.
You never know when the next answer to prayer is just around the corner. So no matter where you are, what challenge you are facing or what success you just achieved, don’t forget to stop, have a cup of tea and be grateful. It might just be the re-focus you need.

Love
Amy xo

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Who else tries on their outfits before they pack them?!
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Oman, what a view!! ❤

Made For Now

esther“If you keep quite at a time like this, help will come from heaven to the Jews, and they will be saved, but you will die and your father’s family will come to an end. Yet who knows- maybe it was for a time like this that you were made queen!” Esther 4:14

Who knows- maybe it was for a time like this that you were put on earth!

I love that noble and grand decree made to Esther all those years ago and I love that it still echoes truth to us today! Maybe, just maybe, you were put on this earth at exactly the right time, that you were made specifically with ‘now’ in mind and you were designed with a purpose!

A few weeks ago, I sat in an emerging leaders seminar for CMA (Christian Ministry Advancement) and listened to a man by the name of Don Ankenbrandtt share some of his story. He highlighted the fact that in church life there are only so many ministry positions available (kids, outreach, worship etc), yet we are all called to participate and minister in the body of Christ. We all have a purpose to accomplish for the Kingdom, here on earth. Out of this knowledge Don realised his passion and purpose was helping others discover theirs! He (and others) started the 210 Project to help people discover their place and purpose in the Kingdom of God! The project looks at your gifts, abilities, strengths, passions and more to help guide you into an understanding of where God has called you to be.  As he shared some of the stories of people who had worked through this project, I felt excitement stirring in my heart.

One man came to the end of the 210 Project and realised he had a passion for apartments. ‘What the heck do you do with that’, one might say? Out of his passion came a ministry call Apartment Life. A church adopts an apartment complex and the owner offers up one free apartment and in moves one missionary family or couple. The missionaries in conjunction with the church, help people move in and out the apartment. They hold social gatherings, offer day care, financial help, support and prayer! They now have 6 apartment blocks operating under this initiative.

One guy discovered he had a passion for fishing and orphans. What does he do with that now? Runs summer fishing trips for business men to third world countries and takes them to visit local orphanages while they are over there. As a result, their hearts are stirred and orphanages gain financial assistance. How awesome!

Imagine if every believer, and indeed every person, discovered their passion and purpose in Christ and pursued it whole heartedly! Can you imagine what the church would look like, what your life would look like, if you were passionate, excited, joy filled and living with purpose everyday?   Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

You can check out the 210 Project here: http://www.210project.com/

Two more sleeps until I fly out and make my way to Honduras. I have been packing, making lists and checking them off madly for weeks (very unlike me, I am a last minute person to the core!). I think I used up all my excitement over the weekend and now I am in a state of calm! I look forward to sharing with you when I return!

Much Love,

Amy xo

Complete confidence!

I am a Christian and I have been for some time now.19th Faith street sign

Growing up, I attended church and had a faith from a young age. In my teenage years, I wandered away from the Lord and did what, sadly, many teenagers are still doing today – drinking and partying. I re-encountered Christ the year I turned 20 and have had my life turned around. I barely recognise the angry, rebellious, insecure young girl I used to be.

As a christian, I personally know and can attest to the transforming power of the gospel in my life! I have experienced God’s love, forgiveness, grace and redemption. I have discovered a deep joy, a place of refuge and the giver of life. I know now, that I was born for such a time as this and with an eternal purpose at hand (blog on this en route). Yet still, my simple mind struggles to grasp how those around me can discover these same truths and come to know Jesus personally.

While I have helped lead people to the Lord, I normally come away excited that they have come to faith but confounded as to how the heck it even happened. A few weeks ago I was walking with a beautiful friend and I tried to explain to her the hope and joy I have in Jesus…epic fail…I fumbled to find the words to explain what was in my heart and I was so disappointed in myself.

Paul says in Romans chapter 1 ” I have complete confidence in the gospel; it is God’s power to save all who believe..”. What an awesome statement of faith!

As I prepare to embark on a mission trip to Honduras, that is all about saving a nation in one day. I am seeking the Lord to ready my heart and increase my faith that I can say ‘I have complete confidence, not in my own ability…but in His!

Where do you put your confidence?

Ps. For those who haven’t seen it yet, I’ve attached a link with the video advert for my trip! I will be going as part of the medical team…18 days and counting!!! http://www.1nation1day.com/vision

Twinges

twinge (twnj)
noun.
1. A sharp, sudden physical pain. See Synonyms at pain.
2. A mental or emotional pain: a twinge of guilt.
verb. twinged, twing·ing, twing·es

Yesterday as I drove home late from work, I reflected on what a good day it had been. I had ended work on a good note with two jolly (only word to describe them) security guards happily walking me to my creepy car park in the basement. Their joy and friendly manner in escorting me had left me with a smile on my face.

As I pulled up at the traffic lights near my house, smile still on my face, I saw a young couple walking along the street laughing and cuddling. Then I felt it…that ‘twinge’. That little pang of deep sadness that echoed in my heart and made it ache. As the light went green and I continued home, I resolved that it was ok to acknowledge a moment of sadness over the things I long for but that have not yet come to pass. So long as the moment was just that, a moment.

We all have ‘twinges’, wether they be sadness, regret or a little bit of guilt. The trick is to acknowledge the feeling and then give it to God to deal with. If we keep dwelling on them we allow those feelings to fester and take root which can lead to bitterness and a hard heart. Instead, we should dwelling on the truth found in God’s word:

Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Just a little thought for today! Keep on keeping on my friends and don’t for get to smile! xo

My amazing family (2010)

My amazing family (2010)