Audra Krell

On Purpose

Archive for the category “Respect”

Negativity-Free Zone

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Photo credit iStockphoto

Had dinner with an old friend last night and she said she's giving up negativity for Lent. She is encouraging her entire extended family to quit complaining. I love the idea and hope they all see lasting results.

Then today I came across this post from Trevor Lund. He will send you 40 daily emails to help you and yours quit the negativity addiction throughout the Lenten season.

It's easy to develop and hard to recognize you've got a problem.  You know, a complaint here and there about how much you hate people in the media, politics and Hollywood. A bash about the local grocery clerk. A disgusting eye roll toward the homeless person riding their bike alongside the road. A cruel word to the opposing team in the name of competition. Berating the serviceperson who isn't working hard or quickly enough in your opinion.

Before you know it, your "opinion" which you become known for, is one of utter negativity toward the world in general. People can always count on you to find the bad and make it uglier. 

And then, if you're an artist, it seeps into your creations. Colors every piece with shades of gray and lots of black. You sing the same old sad song, write the same poem, tell your dark story one more time.

In short, negativity kills creativity.

Creativity breeds life and I want to fully live.

What about you? Do you have a negative complaint behavior you need to quit?

Nobody Kicks our Can

The whine of the garbage truck squealed  for too long in front of our house. I had overfilled the large receptacle and walked to the window with dread. Sure enough, the driver was out of the truck, picking up trash. Just as I went to help him, he reared back and kicked the can five feet.

“He just kicked the can down the street,” I yelled to our 14 -year -old son as I hurried to find my shoes so I could outside to have a word with him. At the very least I was going to call his superiors to complain; nobody kicks our can.

By the time I got to the end of the driveway though, the can sat upright and the trash truck was gone. I picked up the remaining trash and turned to go inside. 

I was met by our huffing 6', 215 pound seventeen -year -old. When our middle boy saw me go outside, he went to rally his brothers.

“Where is he?” 

“He’s gone honey, but he picked up the can,” I said.

“I’m going to find him, you don’t do that,” he said while looking up and down the street.

“It’s okay, let’s just let it go.”

It was like talking down a prize- fighter facing his biggest opponent, but somehow I convinced him to go inside.

As we walked back, I was struck by the protective hearts boys have. I am so used to defending them, protecting and softening the blow, that I didn’t even question charging outside to confront a visibly angry man. 

In Ephesians 5:25, God commands husbands to love their wives. A big part of loving is protecting. I realized my boys are not going to kick into protection mode the day they are married. It is up to me to allow them to be the protector; to respect the way God has wired them to treat all women. 

When they are young, we encourage imaginary play that allows them to be the hero. As they grow and playing pretend isn’t as acceptable, opportunities to singlehandedly save the world are put away with childish things. 

Our boys are 17, 14 and 12. The need to be the hero in a world where there aren’t many, is more critical than ever. The acknowledgement of their warrior hearts and the way God has wired them is validating, freeing and respectful to a young man.

The “angry trash man” was an opportunity to let the boys defend and protect. I have to proactively look for situations where the boys can be heroes.  Then someday, they'll  be heroes to their wife and children.

 

Know Groundwire

What I wouldn't have done to have a group like this when I was a teenager. Groundwire uses technology to connect young people with the gospel of Jesus. 

I'm passionate about our millennials and young people. Sadly, they are considered the lost generation. I love promoting the work the good folks of Groundwire do, because it lines up with my personal mission. I write so that no one feels abandoned. 

Groundwire exists to bring our young people home. If you are struggling with cutting, eating disorders, depression or other problems, log onto Groundwire for Spiritual coaching and a safe place where you won't be judged or shunned.

Day or night, someone is waiting to talk, pray, encourage and listen. www.Groundwire.net

Leading Millennials

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Thom S. Rainer has a great article here on what millenials want in a leader. Through his article you can learn who our Millenials are and more details about what they are looking for in a leader.

I have a huge heart for Millennials, as Steve and I are raising 3 later born Millennial boys. I love to study articles like Rainers, because it's important to learn about what their generation is seeking.

For me, learning turns into leading. Millenials are looking for gentle spirited mentors, as well as authentic and down-to-earth pastors, politicians and the like. My favorite quality in Millennials is their zero tolerance policy on lying and inauthentic people. If you consistently lack integrity and are manipulative and deceitful, they will leave you. Forever.

Honesty wins every time. It's a good policy to implement for every generation.

In what ways are you leading the Millennial generation? 

 

How to Not Be A Grinch

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Tips for loving Christmas:

  1. Say no. Say no to family, friends, commitments, obligations and traditions if they aren't healthy, fun and doable.
  2. Don't take "no" from others personally. Exercise respect by realizing they are doing what's best for them.
  3. Plan to join in the fun, not be the center of it. We set our expectations too high when we attempt to make ourselves or our kids the very center of the celebration. The only person at the center is Jesus.
  4. Know when it's time to go. Have fun, share glad tidings of joy and move on. Enough said.
  5. Be aware of what matters to others. Honor their traditions, think of meaningful ways to show what they mean to you. Speak their love language.
  6. Remember those serving over seas, and those here who are missing their loved ones. Go out of your way for these people.
  7. Give more than you get and your Christmas cup will overflow.

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Coffee Shop Conversations

Thank you to Zondervan for providing me with a copy of this book.

I found Coffee Shop Conversations to be helpful in showing me how to have meaningful conversations with others who do not share my faith. There is a gentleness,a respect and love in their instruction for being in relationship with others.

Early on in the book, the Finchers remind us that "walling people into categories prevents us from loving them." This is true. We cannot love people if we've made negative judgements and especially when we do it within the first seven seconds of meeting them.

Authors Dale and Jonalyn Fincher are doing great work in the area of developing tolerance toward all.

Win a $25 gift card to Starbucks by following them on twitter @Soulation. Let them know you did by leaving a comment HERE and you'll be entered into the drawing.

Best Things Are Still Free

Notice how tentative and almost embarrassed some folks are at first. They are forgetting that the best things in life are still free.This makes me want to make up a bunch of T-Shirts that say "FREE HUGS" and go out into the world with a group of people and give love away. I'm pretty sure this is what God intended when he created us.

 My Mom shared this video with me today, it features kd lang singing one of my favorite songs to boot. Enjoy and thanks Mom!

Cecil Murphey Appreciation

June has been declared Cecil Murphey appreciation month. He has written or coauthored more than 100 books including the New York Times best- seller 90 Minutes in Heaven

I love his books but appreciate his teaching most of all. I'm in an online Writer's Group where Cec is a moderator. In the interest of keeping my inbox clean, I delete hundreds of emails per month from that loop. But not the ones from Cecil Murphey. I keep those carefully stored and read them at least once a week. 

You see, he took the time on several occasions to respond to my writing personally. I have been most encouraged in my career, by him. He speaks about allowing God to hold his hands and pour into him, and as the Father of Writing, Cec turns around and freely pours himself into hundreds of writers. 

You know that question people love to ask, "If you could meet anyone who would it be?" My dream is to meet and take a class from Cecil Murphey. (Number two is to meet and sing with Phil Vassar, but I digress.)

I'm so honored because in July, Cecil will be writing a guest post here at Krellfish. I will also be reviewing his latest book, When A Man You Love Was Abused.

Thank you for everything Cec, you are deeply appreciated.

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Call of Duty

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On the last of school, my mild mannered son threw a teen sized tantrum over the Playstation 3 breaking. Then one of my other son's posted this on Facebook: "My call of duty is to play as much COD as possible this summer." 

 I wondered just what kind of summer we were in for.

Then the next day, the first official day of summer break, we left for a long vacation. There were no video games, no internet, no mobile phone service, no friends, obligations, homework, deadlines, 16 games to attend in a weekend, video game thumb, carpal tunnel or strained eyes. Translation: no stress.

Here is what the boys looked like sans technology and cultural expectation:

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Were they depressed? Lonely? Desperate for the overstimulation by the world wide web? No. But they were in fact, completely different men.

We had actual, real live conversations with whole phrases and not instant message communication with "words" like u, 2morrow, B4, L8tr,brb, and ppudwug2store (Please pick up donuts when you go to store). And we certainly never talked about COD (Call of Duty).

In the spirit of honesty, we did use '"B4" when we were repeating back our diagonal line which won us $89.00 at Bingo. Yes I had to resort to gambling to get that good quality family time. Don't send me the scripture about how I shall not gamble, the bigger risk is not interacting with my kids. Plus God saw fit to have us win so I can't be all wrong, right?

Anyway, 5 days post trip, our boys remain changed. They are exercising every day, practicing their music for hours, interacting in meaningful ways with other human beings face to face and are generally happier people. The video games have been played, but it's been minimal.

So I ask you fellow parenting soldiers, what is your Call of Duty this summer? Maybe just maybe, you are to fearlessly lead your family to and through a land of no internet, no 3G network and no cultural expectation, for a time.

Be warned though, that land can definitely come with no Starbucks attached, as it did for me. 

We all gave up a little something, and each of us are better for it.

 Long after the last iPhone has died, the spirit of authentic, loving relationship will reign eternal.

Have You Met Mason?

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He is our middle boy, just finished 8th grade yesterday and today started playing basketball at the high school. This is him trying on his new suit, which he is wearing on our cruise this week. In his end of year papers, I stumbled on a little booklet that some of his classmates had made about him, and I find it completely hilarious! 

Note these are from 13-14 year olds and I have not corrected them:

Though I don't know him well, Mason is a good student body president.

Mason is very rude, but he is nice to his friends.

Although Mason is witty and smart, he is very funny and has a great smile.

Because Mason is athletic, he is good at sports.

Mason seems nice, and he's funny.

Mason you are one of the most athletic and inteligent people I know.

Mason is cool because he calls Dylan fat with a Ph.

Even though I don't know Mason very well, I hear he is a good athlete.

Even though Mason can be annoying, he has a great sense of humor despite this annoyingness.

I had a great time this year with Mason this year and I will miss his humor.

Mason is a funny boy, he seems really nice.

When Mason plays basketball he wins.

Although I don't have many classes with Mason, I know he is a very smart young mem/boy.

Playing on the same team as him, he is an outstanding athelete.

And my very favorite:

Because Mason has aspirations, I do not dislike him much.

My takeaway: Always be his friend and on Mason's team, if you want to be cool spell fat with a Ph, and if you want to be a successful and liked young MEM, have aspirations. Sounds easy enough.

We're so proud of you Mason, off to high school!

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