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The simple secret of relationships

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Fourth grade was brutal. At least the other-kids-in-class part of it (is there any other?). That year I learned what a horrible person I was (!), how unlikable I was, and how ‘sticks and stones’ weren’t the things that drove painful wounds deep into my heart. I learned how important it was to carefully calculate my words and actions, knowing that no matter what I said, a mean arrow could fly straight back at me from the class bully. She was my discovery that there were people who didn’t play according to the ‘nice’ rules I’d been taught.

In distress and bewilderment, I would pour out my trouble to Mom after school. What do you do when you can’t play the game according to their rules? What had I done to bring her hatred on me?

And Mom would always come back to the same thought in her response. “Honey, we don’t know why she’s acting that way. It might not be because of something you’ve done. Maybe she’s unhappy inside and is taking it out on you. But the most important thing is not what …

Grace-living

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I'm learning in this unusual season of care-giving a life lesson I hope I'll never forget.

As a type-A-box-checker, I love a list, a plan, a logical progression of things. I love to know what's coming, and will come up with a plan for any and everything. (Can anyone relate?)

Problem is, this creates all kinds of personal stress--because as often as not, life doesn't go the way I'd like it to. Then I get frustrated, and might go try plan B, which may or may not work. Then, I might even get sick!  (Stress does that, you know.)

Of course, the Lord has been working with me for a long time about this besetting sin. (Yes, I'd call it a sin because if I'm managing things, guess Who isn't?)  I've learned often in the past—and keep forgetting—the value of "letting go and letting God.”

But this season of my life has required a "letting go" way beyond anything I've ever lived. I've been walking not only on the unfamiliar ground of care-…