Guilt! She pokes you as you write about your quaint, eccentric aunt. She grabs you as you wander from e-mail to Facebook to laundry instead of focusing on your work. She kicks you as you complain about your husband to a friend.
Have you noticed? Women seem riddled with guilt. And it’s hard to know if guilt is legitimate or simply a product of our imaginations. After all, should we really feel guilty about things over which we have no control?
The three of us share in a speaking ministry and we have learned a few things about losing guilt and finding joy through the years:
1. We are not perfect. Sooner or later we say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing or fail to do the right thing. That’s life. While we feel guilty when we flub up, we thank God that memory fades and the rhythm of life continues. If our actions have hurt someone, we apologize—to the other person and to God—then we joyfully move on, guilt free.
2. We have no control over some things, so it’s no use feeling guilty. For instance, our children may suffer injuries as they participate in sports. When that happens, we look for ways God may be teaching us and them life lessons and trust God will use the experience to the good of all involved.
3. We can’t do it all. Much as we want to solve others’ problems, achieve perfection on our jobs and keep our homes neat and clean as a plastic dollhouse, we can’t. Maybe someday when we’re old and gray (Ha. Shirley already is, and it hasn’t helped her.) . . . .
We shared our insights in our book, Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides. We would love to have you visit www.friendsoftheheart.us to learn more about us, order the book, invite us to speak or just to enter our Blog Tour contest. We will give away a free half-hour telephone consultation on each of the following topics:
1. “Writing for Publication” with Shirley Brosius. If you’re a wannabe writer, Shirley can suggest ways to get published; if you’re already writing, Shirley can help you set goals and suggest how to reach them.
2. “Children and Sports: Running the Race from Preschool to College and Life After Sports” with Janine Boyer. If you’re considering signing up your child for youth sports or wondering about the impact of sports on college and life beyond, talk to Janine. She can also tell you what to expect of coaches and how to relate to them.
3. “Building a Youth Ministry” with Kim Messinger. If you’re volunteering as a youth leader at your church and want your group to grow, talk to Kim. Her youth group increased from 20 to 75 youth–and is still growing.
May Romans 8:1 help you enjoy the abundant life in Christ: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.