Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sharper Vision

My vision has changed. I’ve always had keen eyesight but I’ve had cataracts in other areas of my life. Through the years my mental vision (tied in with emotional, relational, spiritual) has sharpened. I thank God for this.

Here are eight examples of how I see better now than I did 10-20 years ago:

Word Power
I have a greater respect for the power of words and the absence of them.

Silence is okay—even beneficial at times. Words can linger for a lifetime. I’ve grown more discerning of when to bite my tongue and I think more before I speak. Also, screaming doesn’t make me more heard.

The Affirmation Sieve
I let others’ opinions of me fall by the wayside quicker and more often. I used to cling so tightly to what friends and family would say about me. Too tightly. It added to my self-worth somehow. Viewpoints alter minute by minute. I work hard to let most of it go—let it fall through my mental sieve.

Female Bonds
I grew up in a home with three sisters, one of whom was an All-American soccer player, and another had cancer and a slew of other needs. This provided a perfect breeding ground for understanding women in a jealous light. God’s had to do a lot of work on me with this one. In the past two decades I’ve moved from my jealous feelings of women to appreciating them and delighting in their unique gifts. I compare less and celebrate more. I’ve also learned to guard my heart in certain situations and with certain people.

Quiet Please
I don’t have to have the last word. Sometimes words are unnecessary. I’m impulsive and with that characteristic I’m apt to spout off quick-witted remarks that might at times be better left unspoken. Also, in arguments I try to listen to understand more than fight to be understood.

The Beauty of Humility
Humility is a far more beautiful trait than futile grasps for perfection.

Judge Less
I don’t know how I’d act if I lived someone else’s life and was in their current circumstance. A woman from one of our small groups said this and I’ve never forgotten it. It’s a wonderful reminder every time I’m tempted to judge.


Beats Me
Sometimes the words I don’t know are the most true and suitable words for the occasion.

Who, What, Where, Why, When (& Sometimes How)
Feeling the freedom to question has only strengthened my faith.

During an eight day outdoor hike through the woods while I was in high school a stick jumped into my eye. (More accurately, I wasn’t paying attention to my next steps, and I walked straight into a branch.) I remember the odd sensation of tugging the stick to dislodge it from the corner where it had embedded. My vision has improved over the years, but I’ll be the first one to admit there are times when I’m caught with a stick in my eye.

Is your vision sharper than it was years ago? If so, how?

*photos by flickr
**Melanie from
Elegant Custom Blogs is offering readers of this blog a 20% discount on any package order from her site if you order by the end of December. Mention in your email that you found her by my blog.

21 comments:

  1. Great post, Wendy! That one about having the last word is a tough one for me sometimes. I often have to stop myself and ask, "Will this benefit the conversation or make it worse?" :)

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  2. I've been thinking a lot lately (even this morning) about how our vision changes over time. How our lives would be different if we knew way-back-when what we know now. Great post, Wendy!

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  3. Wow. You are wise. Reminds me of Jesus. I'd like to hang out with you for about ten years and soak up some of that perspective. I'm way too rash, sensitive, and mouthy.

    But I think my stick of dependence on others' opinions has dislodged some. Is that progress?

    Guess what! I'm having my blog redone by the same brilliant lady who did yours! Don't tell anyone; it's going to be a surprise!

    Love you,
    Jen

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  4. Wendy, I love how you view the world. You open my eyes often, enabling me to see things in a new light. What great ideas you've shared in your post today. I can learn a lot from you, my dear. Thanks for expanding my horizons and helping me remove some of those cataracts in my life.

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  5. On a deep level, I love your heart and spirit. I feel you are a kindred spirit, a sister. I look forward to one day being able to sit face to face with you, sharing love, laughter, life...even if it is when we are united on the other side. On a surface level, I love the new look on the blog.

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  6. I hope mine is sharper! I feel like I've learned things too. I love your point, screaming doesn't make me heard. That's something I'm still trying to learn. *sigh* Stubborn ol' brain of mine.

    Wonderful post, Wendy!

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  7. This was such a great and beautiful post! I think that as we grow our mental vision changes as we get older and grow in God. I do see where God is trying to take me down the road of changing my mental vision as well. :o) Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Such pithy thoughts! I'm going to have to mull these over.

    I hope I've improved my vision in some areas, though I feel I'm still grasping to control emotions and words...

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  9. Great post Wendy! I appreciate you sharing this.

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  10. Yes, my vision is definitely sharper than it used to be. I especially loved the one about not knowing what you'd do in someone else's shoes. I've been struggling with this one on a very personal level the last few days. I know I shouldn't judge, and you've given me a great reminder. Thanks!

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  11. Oh, girl, how insightful...

    So you.
    I still think of you dancing to that crazy youtube tune.

    God lately has been pulling scales off my eyes with amazing rapidity. One centers around Colossians 3:23.
    This verse has transformed everything from my writing to the way I walk the dog.

    Love you,
    patti

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  12. This is beautiful. I'm sure glad your vision is better both literally and figuratively. I'm in the same place. I've discarded peoples judgements, decided I can't control anyones feelings much less my own, and have been fed heaping spoonfuls of humility by the Lord for which I am most grateful. I really like this post Wendy. =)

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  13. Hi Wendy -

    Deep stuff and well said.

    I've become more comfortable in my own skin and need less affirmation than in the past.

    Blessings,
    Susan :)

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  14. Great post! I hope my vision is sharper, life is such a beautiful thing if we can see it for what it is and clearly:)

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  15. Wendy, it's so interesting to read about your family background and how it influenced you. Because of my own childhood circumstances, I've not been prone to envy as a way of relating to other women. My weaknesses were in other relationships. But, like you, I have had some painful lessons in why and how to guard my heart in some female/female relationships. I always felt like the biggest chump for being so naive at times! :-) But the most wonderful feeling is meeting women who have matured and are free to develop trusting friendships, and that was the great pleasure of meeting you and others at ACFW this year.

    Isn't it funny and oddly comforting that no matter where we start out, the path to wisdom brings our paths together?

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  16. This is very honest, and I love that. One thing I've gotten much better at over the years is listening to people's actions rather than their words. Some people say all the right things, yet the things they do are not nice.

    I'll always work on spouting off my big mouth, dislodging my big foot from my big mouth, and spending more time listening, less time talking!

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  17. Sarah, I know exactly what you mean.

    Heather, I wonder what I would have been like then if I had the life experiences I've had to learn from...but I guess that's impossible.

    Oh Jeanette, I can't wait to see. And about that Jesus bit, so often I feel so far from it. So far. Ask my husband about Miss Sensitivity. He'd have stories that would last about ten years. ;)

    Keli, And I learn so much from you about maintaining an encouraging spirit. You rejuvenate me.

    Chrystie, If not in this lifetime, I await our time to bond in heaven. Thanks for your words.

    Jessica, I was good at screaming too. I think somewhere along the way it got old and it clicked that it didn't really work anyway. I tend to do a fair amount of unlearning too.

    Girl, If not for God in my life I'd hate to see what mess I'd be in. I'm in enough of a mess with Him.

    Erica, When I wrote I've learned these things I still have to practice them. Sometimes my vision lessons go better than other times. ;)

    Thanks Katie, woman! Hope your DM is working again. I sent one your way.

    Heidi, I'm pretty sure one of my censor buttons is broken. I reveal things fairly easily--part of my risk-taking self I guess.

    Hi Susan, That one blows me away every time I think about--has a way of centering perspective. If you are on the receiving end of feeling judged, I hope you feel God's love tonight.

    Patti, I think I wing it mostly. I LOVE to dance. Getting to do that at the conference was awesome. Really didn't imagine there would be a chance...but w/ you...yep! ;)

    Thanks T. Anne. As I wrote before I'm really good at unlearning half the stuff in this post. That's why I love writing. Since it's in writing I can go back and say I learned it at one point. Great accountability.

    Susan, I'm waiting for that comfort in my own skin. Most of the time I'm longing to get out of this skin and zip off to heaven...I wait for that.

    Kara, That clarity is a precious thing. I hope it just keeps getting sharper for both of us.

    Rossyln, I treasure you in my life. Treasure. I love that I'm not who I was. And I hope twenty years from now I say the same. I'm grateful for you.

    Jill, You know me, woman. My heart is bleeding all over my sleeve, soaking it. Such a great point. I know people like that. You are awesome.

    It's so cool to read comments like these. I hope you all know I appreciate your responses. I have so much to learn.

    Baby steps. ;)

    Night.
    ~ Wendy

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  18. Wow! I absolutely LOVED this post. I especially enjoyed the bit about "feeling the freedom to question has only strengthened my faith."

    Thank you for this post & may you and your family have a happy holiday season!

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  19. I ask myself more often what Love says to do in this situation, even when it doesn't seem loving.

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  20. Oh, such a good post for me to read at the start of my day. I'm always astounded when people tell me they can't remember what book they read last.

    I really don't do small talk well. I want to jump right in and ask what they are reading, what God is teaching themt through the words, why did they choose that specific book to read...

    This year my theme was "It's not about me." It really brought into focus the selfishness hidden in my life. I've found that only God can help me take that negative character trait out of my life and replace it with a genuine caring for others.

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