Celebrate the Differences

“If it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.” Romans 12:8-9 NIV

“A great relationship isn’t when a perfect couple comes together, but when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy their differences.” Unknown

Being a mom, of course, I’m biased. My son is different from me. He is an avid golfer. I detest golf, playing it anyway. He started lessons when he was five years old, thanks to my dad, and earned money for his first real game at a nine-hole course. He’s played many tournaments where he came in first. He got a Hole-in-One! My son loves four-wheeling throughout all the beautiful places in Utah, where he lives. Me? Not so much. Love hiking the beautiful canyons and mountains in Utah. Four-wheelers are noisy! I want peace and quiet. I love horses and my son would ride with me. He was a natural rider and developed trust from the horses. I was not a natural. I would rather pet them, hug them, brush them and give them treats. But I sure appreciate how different he is from me. He raised two beautiful daughters and during their dramatic teen years, he thought he’d never make it through. He did. Beautifully, but not unscathed. The girls had their own ideas, which were different from their loving and attentive dad.

Perfection: Impossible. Not your spouse, girlfriend/boyfriend, boss, family members or you can do this. Only one man was perfect. We know what happened to him.

Excellence: Possible. But only you with your Father’s help can you do this for yourself. And it’s a daily decision. Today I will practice excellence. That’s how great athletes, spiritual leaders, writers and parents do excellence. They practice every day. Rain, snow, disturbing news, or whatever shows up, practice every day. It may be for only a few minutes but it will reward you.

How? We give ourselves not out of duty or fear but love. See 1st John 4:9-10 And it starts with our Father. We give, surrender and trust him and we are transformed into doing this. It eventually gives birth to excellence. Willpower may work but only for a time. We need supernatural help.

Let there be space in your togetherness. My husband and I learned this. I love flower gardening and he loved photography. He would make trips to take pictures of our beautiful Idaho and I would be knee-deep in dirt, mulch and fertilizer. When he came home, we shared all we enjoyed with each other. He took pictures of my flowers. I framed his best photos to display in our home and for gifts.

Musings

You’ve heard the expression, “Be you; all the others are taken.” Be an excellent you. Your Father will reveal your uniqueness and gifts. We need to remember others need to be who they are too. If there’s a change needed in you or another, let our Father take the lead. Pray and get back to your excellence. Celebrate the differences! Give praise to the differences. We aren’t cookie-cutters!

Prayer

Dear Father and Lord,

Help me to do all with a loving heart.

May I expect nothing in return.

With your guidance and loving example,

I will never be disappointed.

Amen.

Prayer: Courtesy of Robin Harville

Published by Barbara Hinther

Barbara Hinther author of Meditations and Encouragement for the Caregiver of a Loved One with Dementia and What About Me, God. Time to share what she has learned and hopefully, others will know they are not alone. This too, shall pass with beautiful, yet painful, lessons. Barbara lives in a rural town in Idaho where all is community. Bless everyone in the community for their support and their never-ending let’s pitch in attitude! She worked in marketing for over 30 years and volunteered with the Idaho Youth Ranch and St. Vincent’s de Paul Thrift Store. Then her hardest job ever was caring for her husband who died from Lewy body dementia and needed her full-time care. Feelings of abandonment were constant. Life was very difficult for a while, but love, faith and hope will overcome. Let the adventure continue!

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