Take the high road, have patience, be nice…while making airline reservations??? Ha! I don’t think so!
…Or do I???
I was making airline reservations for my mother and her 2 young foster daughters to come for a visit. Yay- finally, I get to see and spend some time with my beloved Mom!!!!!
However…yep, there’s a however 🙂 Finding flights that you can afford, for 3 people, on a limited budget, can be time consuming and oh-so-frustrating, especially when you add special requirements to the flights, right?
Well, after having spent several days researching flights, times, dates, carriers, etc., I am heartily weary and decide to just get the blasted tickets bought and the trip settled once and for all. I just wanna see my Mom! Know what I mean? So I buckle under and after much deliberation, choose an airline and begin the process of choosing exact flights…and…boom…
…bad weather moves in and keeps dropping my internet, which drops my flight search – every time. When my connection actually holds, but I take too long, the session times out and I have to start over – again! And then I discover that every time I drop or time out, the ticket prices increase! In the space of an hour, the price increases over $100 per flight! Yikes!
Well, I’ve had enough of this so I punch in the customer service numbers and call the airline. (Please, I just wanna get my Mommy here!) Of course I then have to go through an automated call system to ultimately be placed on hold for 15 more minutes before I actually get to speak to someone – someone that I have to strain really hard to understand through her very thick accent, on my very staticky cell phone! Ugghh!
Ok, so my patience is wearing thin, but I am determined – I just want to get my Mommy HERE! The nice lady is very helpful, and books the coveted flights, even though at first she wants to charge me an additional $55 to reserve specific seats for my mother, and for each of her 2 foster daughters– that’s $55 EACH person, EACH WAY! That’s $330 in addition to the ticket prices, and does NOT include any luggage, not even carry on. We simply cannot do it!
However, after almost an hour on the phone and great explanation, I am finally able to get 3 seats in the “handicapped” bulkhead section for Mom and 2 children, at no extra cost. Yay! Finally! My Mommy is coming to see me!!!! Oh yippee yay!! I can’t wait!
Then… much to our heartache and disappointment, that night we find out that one of our beloved foster daughters will be going back to her estranged family the next day. Which means she won’t be coming to see me 😦 So, I get online to cancel her ticket. Well, I can’t find the reservation on their website. Their confirmation email shows they have misspelled my mother’s name. Ugh! So I go through the automated calling process again, this time I hold for over 15 minutes before I get a live person, who also has a super thick accent that I can hardly understand. I spend another hour on the phone with this not very friendly guy only to find out that the seats I thought were reserved on my last call were actually NOT reserved and are no longer available. And he insists that the only way I can get bulkhead seats now is to pay the $55 each person, each leg of the trip. Period. Which I cannot afford. But he says he corrected my Mom’s name on her ticket and tells me if I don’t want to pay for the seats, I have until 9:30 tomorrow morning to cancel all flights without penalty, and that is my only option. Seriously? But I just want to get my Mommy HERE!
So I am super upset and panicking at this point. I spend 2 more hours online researching flights – I just want to get my Mommy here, but no way do I want to stay with this unhelpful airline. No luck finding anything cheaper though, and I go to bed exhausted and discouraged.
Next morning I resume the search. After 2 more unsuccessful hours, I decide to go ahead and cancel Mom’s tickets before the penalty deadline and take a break to calm my nerves. I will resume the search for new tickets tomorrow, even if I have to pay a little more. I get online to cancel the tickets only to find out they still have Mom’s name misspelled and I can not access her itinerary without opening a new account in the misspelled name. Ugghhh! I give up and try to create a new account, but they won’t let me without using a new email address – uuuuugggghhhh!!!!! I have already used all the ones we have! So frustrating! I just wanna see my Mom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, ugghhhhhhh – unbelievably, I have to call them yet again. Of course, this means another interminable amount of time holding! By now I am so agitated, out of patience and feeling anything but hospitable and am totally afraid I’m going to bite someone’s head off! I am so upset and just want to yell at them to get their stinking act together! I don’t have time for all these ridiculous mistakes! Come on!!!!! Please, I just want to see my Mom!
Yet, in my heart, I hear that soft, peaceful whisper saying that God would like me to take the high road. Um…the high road? Um…seriously? You mean that place where patience, understanding, calm, peaceful, pleasantness – and no yelling abide?
Really God? After all this?
I’m so frustrated and upset, God.
2 Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowance for each other’s faults because of your love. (Eph. 4:2 TLB)
Oh…yes…I remember that verse. Hmmm…and some others too.
Because of my love. Because of Your love.
Okay, God. The high road it is.
So, even though at first I don’t want to, while I am holding, I take a deep breath, swallow my pride and ask God for help. I ask Him to help me be gentle and patient, and not rude to whomever answers my call, and to be appreciative of the person’s help.
Then a man answers (whom I can easily understand!) and I patiently tell him my whole messed up story, the misinformation I was given, the reservation mixup, the wrong spelling, not being able to access online, the hours of holding and phone conversations, etc. and inform him I just want to cancel the whole itinerary because Mom can’t take that flight if they don’t have an affordable seat for her as they originally said they did. I was polite, did not raise my voice and was calm and collected and pleasant. The whole time –yes I was 🙂
And guess what – this gentleman was so nice and polite as he listened to my story, read the notes from my prior conversations, and asked me to hold while he quickly researched what his options were. He came back on the line and said no problem, that he re-assigned the special seats to Mom and young companion, at NO additional charge, and everything was good to go!!! He was so nice, and so quick! He provided exactly what I needed without charging me any more money. He even corrected Mom’s name and emailed me the confirmation while we talked to be sure it was correct, and asked me to call him back if anything was not to my expectation. He was calm, collected and very willing to make things right with me. This made all the difference to me, and I thanked him and kept the reservation. I was even smiling when I hung up the phone.
Because I took the high road.
Because I was patient, gentle, and kind.
And it feels good!
And… I get to see my Mommy ❤
I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, 2 with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, 3 eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
17 Never pay back evil for evil. Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honest clear through. 18 Don’t quarrel with anyone. Be at peace with everyone, just as much as possible.
Romans 12:17-18 The Living Bible
14-16 Bless your enemies; no cursing under your breath. Laugh with your happy friends when they’re happy; share tears when they’re down. Get along with each other; don’t be stuck-up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody.
17-19 Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone. If you’ve got it in you, get along with everybody. Don’t insist on getting even; that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.”
Romans 12:16-19 The Message
Proverbs 20 The Message
Deep Water in the Heart
20 Wine makes you mean, beer makes you quarrelsome—
a staggering drunk is not much fun.
2 Quick-tempered leaders are like mad dogs—
cross them and they bite your head off.
3 It’s a mark of good character to avert quarrels,
but fools love to pick fights.
22 Don’t ever say, “I’ll get you for that!”
Wait for God; he’ll settle the score.
NLT 3 Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor;
only fools insist on quarreling.
22 Don’t say, “I will get even for this wrong.”
Wait for the Lord to handle the matter.
Are you strong and courageous?
Do you have within you what you need to accomplish what is on your plate today? Are you discouraged, or afraid you might fail?
Well, take heart, my friend – God’s got your back!
7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do. 9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:7-9New Living Translation (NLT)
For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Trust in that. Believe in that. Look up and reach out to God – raise your hand and give it to Him to hold. Close your eyes and imagine God right there with you, taking hold of your hand – leading you, comforting and guiding you. Giving you strength and courage. No matter how big or little your need. Ask Him to take hold of your hand and pour His strength into you through the joining of your hands.
Go ahead, do this right now.
Then in your mind and in your outstretched hand, grasp hold of His strong and very capable hand, close your fingers tightly around his; hold on and don’t ever let go!
13 “For I hold you by your right hand—
I, the Lord your God.
And I say to you,
‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.”
Isaiah 41:13 (NLT)
“Do not fear, for I am with you.”
“And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Happy Sunday to you!!
Are you happy this morning? Or are you, like me, maybe feeling a little hurting in your heart – from hurt feelings, or maybe sadness from a loss?
A few days ago someone I love slung some very hurtful words at me and in hurt and anger I slung a few ugly and not nice words right back. Words that I thought would never come out of my mouth. Today I feel great remorse (even though I am still reeling in hurt).
However, I read a few Words this morning that sounded so good and reminded me where I always can find healing for my hurt. These words were:
May Love and Kindness
Guide your life today.
May you find a little Peace
Along the way
Enveloped in Compassion
Walking with Faith
May you sit with Contentment
At the end of this day.
Is there something in your life that you would really like to do, be, or accomplish – you know, that something that fills you with great passion, that something that seems you were born to do, or be? But…somehow there’s something else that bogs you down, makes you procrastinate, keeps you from seriously pursuing and accomplishing it?
What is that something? And what is that something else keeping you from it? Hmmm…is it All my life, one of two things I always wanted to be is a singer. In elementary school, I jealousy watched my best friend sing a solo in our school program. In junior and senior high, I happily sang in choir and took a solo to contest my senior year!
But that’s when the nerves really kicked in – and began to derail my dreams!
The nerves became fear. The fear grew and took on life of its very own over my gift, leaving it weak and trembling! But, ooooooh, how I wanted to sing! But for the next 10+ years after high school, I hid – I buried my gift of singing underneath daily life and didn’t sing because it was too scary to put myself out there for rejection – yep, that old, powerful critic,
Fear of Rejection got me.
Are you familiar with Fear of Rejection? That little sinking feeling inside you when you want to put yourself out there where someone has the opportunity to judge you and find you lacking? That little sinking feeling starts in your stomach and begins to grow inside you, swelling up, developing a voice, reverbing and banging around in your stomach, and your chest, then yelling and throbbing in your head and ears along with your heartbeat? Every time you muster up the courage to do that something you long to do, that special something you LOVE to do, this feeling takes over you and your “special something,” and your gift jumps right into the back seat- oh yes, again!
Well…that’s what happened to me every time I got up to sing. When I looked out over those expectant faces, this Fear would take hold in the pit of my stomach, then radiate in neon waves into my throat, effectively squeezing my vocal chords, making my voice into this foreign, wimpy sound no one recognized – every time. Even with constant affirmation, I questioned and doubted my ability. I worked hard at voice lessons, exercises, prayed continually, consulted experts in vocal performance, etc. In the privacy of my own home, I sang out with joy and abandon! In 3 different churches I prayed up and conquered my fear through auditions and made it into choir and amazingly praise team – but as soon as I got in front of a crowd – bam! That Fear slammed me! Year after year after frustrating year! Suffice it to say, I allowed Fear to bury my special gift in the back seat of my life and never realized my hope, my DREAM of being a real singer. This will go down in my life as one of my greatest disappointments.
My pastor’s message a few weeks ago used Matthew 25:14-26 – the Parable of the Talents to make his great point: Three slaves were each given talents (units of money) to manage for their master while he was away. The first two bravely went out and invested their talents and each doubled what they had been given, and received a great reward. But the third slave was afraid, and in his Fear, went and buried the coin instead of investing it, so nothing became of it. And because, in his Fear, he squandered his one gift and didn’t make good use of it, not only did he not receive any reward, his one talent was taken away from him.
Yikes! I think that’s what I have done! Living in my Fear, I have squandered the wonderful gift God gave me – the gift of joyful singing! I buried it with my Fear and didn’t grow it and share it with others. Now my prime-time-for-singing years are behind me. Opportunity lost. Gift effectively buried. Because of Fear. Friend – don’t let Fear bury your special God-given gift!
If there is something (positive and legal) you are really good at naturally, that you deeply desire or “need” to do or be in your life, then pursue it!
You see, if God has given you a special gift, then He also has already given you the ability to use that special gift for good purposes, to grow, to share, to touch other lives with it. And He intends for you to do so.
Tap into it!
Pray about it, talk to others about it, find a mentor or accountability partner, do what works for you to rise up and conquer your Fear. Don’t let fear of failure or fear of rejection keep you from doing or being what God created you to do or be! It will be a great disappointment and regret in your life if you do. But if you embrace your gift, and pursue it and walk in it, well, this is where you will find your greatest happiness and fulfillment!
PS – the second thing I always wanted to be is a writer – after dabbling with Fear, I have thrown it in the back seat and am now deep into pursuing my passion – yes with blogging, but also in editing/publishing a book I’ve written!
Will you hold me accountable?
Mindy ❤ ❤ ❤
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Because I believe and know this deeply within my heart – that I am fearfully and wonderfully made – I also know that I am ok; I have good in me; my body, my soul, my spirit – all that makes up who I inherently am – is good, is right, is wonderful. The very basis for who I am is good, right, and wonderful. Because I was made – I was created that way, from the beginning, and with love. By You.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore I have drawn you with lovingkindness.
I will dwell on this, I will recite this, I will ingrain this FACT, this knowledge into my brain, my heart, into the whole fabric that is me. Until I believe wholeheartedly, with all of my heart, soul, and spirit, without hesitation, that I was in the very beginning – good! My basis is GOOD! (Not bad, wrong, off, by mistake, flawed, evil, in error, etc.)
And if my BASIS is good, no matter the circumstances of my conception and/or birth, if my beginning is GOOD, then I can always go back to that beginning good. I can always choose to tap back into that good that has always been there inside of me since the beginning. I can claim it and drag it out! Yep, I can drag it out, pour it over my head and let it wash all down and over me, washing off all the years of grit and grime I have wallowed and covered myself in! Oh yes I can!
No matter what I have done, no matter how unloved, unworthy, or unlovable I am feeling, I can go back – back to that good. I can dress myself in that good. I can walk in that good. I can make that beginning good in me a real thing – once again. And again. And again. I can allow that goodness within me to take over my mind, my heart, my body – covering over all the hurt, the betrayal, the negative. I can allow it to mend, to heal, to relieve all the regret, the brokenness, the pain. I can allow myself to feel that goodness within me! I can become that goodness in me – I can BE that GOODNESS – again! Yes, once AGAIN
…#Believe you have that goodness within you and that it’s been there since the day of your conception! Go look for it –dig down in there if you have to – find it! Take it out, dust it off and put it on! Yay!!! And then #Commit to allowing #goodness, #love, and #mercy into your heart, allowing them to reign over all else in your life. #Commit to being and doing #good for yourself. #Commit to being and doing good for others. #Commit to #love, patterned after the #greatestlovestoryofall.
And if you don’t know what this love is, here are some fun explanations: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Corinthians+13&version=MSG
This is what’s on my mind and heart today. As I did this morning, I hope you will too, take this truth and push it deeply within your heart and soul, soothing your scarred and torn self-worth and shoring up your strength to start each day with GOOD! Because you were intended for this!
#Peace and #Goodness to you ❤
If you don’t know what the #greatestlovestoryofall is, you can find out here: https://www.biblegateway.com/
If you don’t believe this man is who this book says he is, then try to see it this way: the story of him, his life, and his love is still a perfect template to trace and model in our own lives.
Here’s to living out #Goodness in 2015!
#Commit to #goodness, #love, and #mercy, allowing them to reign over all else in your life. #Commit to a #love patterned after the #greatestlovestoryofalltime.