Wednesday, August 29, 2007


Albert Einstein once said-

There are two ways to live your life-

One as if nothing is a miracle
The other as if everything is.

I saw this quote downtown yesterday in a display case, and I stopped to write it down.
I want to be the kind of person who sees ALL of life as a miracle!

The past several weeks the pace of life has gone from a slow, sane, summertime schedule to all out GO FOR IT!!!! Bert's fall schedule as a counselor is full, full, full! My consulting work has picked up as well. And school is about to start , and the other members of our family who are teachers are already back at it.

Today Ryan starts his first day with students in the Deer Park School District. He is teaching 5th grade so he has a new grade, new school, new room, and new colleagues. He is thrilled and excited. They are so blessed to have him. I have seen him teach, and he is a gifted teacher.

Amy starts a new semester of Grad School at Gonzaga. Her classes started yesterday. Yet she has been Ryan's major helper in making this new transition! Besides all of this, and having a new baby and not much sleep, on Monday she put on the birthday party of all birthday parties for Jacob....bouncing castle, water balloon fights, silly string fights, pinata....the whole works! She is amazing!

Jessi and Roger are back at school meetings, and they'll have students next week! They just came back from Ironman Canada and are getting ready for the new school year. They are both amazing teachers, and their students are blessed to have them.

Jacob is headed to kindergarten, Emma to pre-school, Zac to Middle School. Kayla to 5th grade....oh my gosh the list goes on and on!
I start school in mid-September!

All of these happenings are miracles.! As busy as we are, they are easy for me to celebrate!

Where I struggle is seeing EVERYTHING as a miracle! I especially struggle with seeing conflicts as miraculous!

I know intellectually that every conflict is a miraculous opportunity for personal growth.
I remember when my husband Bert and I (now together for 25 years) first had a fight. He was thrilled and told me, "This is so great! Now we will really learn about each other! This will help us to grow and be stronger!" Personally... I thought he was nuts!

My own history with conflict certainly didn't seem miraculous!

Recently I have been trying to be more authentic with people. I have easily talked about what I love and appreciate about them!

On the opposite side of the coin...I have tried to, tactfully and lovingly, share my concerns. Not all of these efforts have been very graceful! Some folks have been surprised (yet open) to my sharing my true feelings. I have also been told that I was wrong and didn't see things correctly. I have had a variety of reactions to my being more open. At times I wished I had just been quiet and swept things under the carpet.

I have always worked on communicating. However telling people what is uncomfortable for me (if something is a pattern) or talking about hurt feelings isn't easy. I teach conflict management, but I still hate to do it!

I never want to make someone mad or irritated. I guess underneath it all I am afraid that I may not matter enough for them to work things out and stay( old family-of-origin pattern).

I have made great progress, and I am AMAZINGLY candid with Bert. He still smiles and congratulates me on being honest and congruent. He is a saint!

Amy is my best role model for handling conflict in an effective manner. She is tactful, accurate, straight forward, sees her part, sees the other person's, and takes the risk. How she does it is miraculous!

My on-going goal is to improve how I do conflict with those I love and care about as well as those I work with. Conflict, when it is handled well, can bring about miracles in relationships!
It can start a healing process, move people toward great learnings, and facilitate forgiveness and new growth!

I'm going to re-read Caring Enough To Confront. That book has been a source of wisdom for me.

Another book, the Bible, talks about taking JOY is ALL things! I'm pretty sure that Jesus didn't leave conflict out of this mandate! Yikes!

Maybe that's what Albert Einstein meant when he said there were two ways to live as if nothing is a miracle...the other as if everything is! Truly seeing conflict as a miracle is an area of growth for me!

I have so much to learn!

God Bless and love to all who read this!
Love Linda


The Farrell Family said...

I learned how to handle conflict from you. Our relationship is such that we can be open and honest with eachother. There is a trust there... I know what I say won't affect how much you love me. Although dealing with conflict is hard, not dealing with it is even harder. There is a sense of relief when a conflict has been resolved. I'll pray for your confidence in conflict resolution... YOU CAN DO IT!!!

Kim Ellis said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Linda. Conflict is not easy and not something that I find "JOY" in but I suppose that Jesus would want us to find conflict as a blessing for the very reasons that you state. I think we can learn from every conflict and that would be the blessing.

Thank you again for sharing and caring.

jessithompson said...

I love you, Mom

LORIE said...

We are all human. . . I appreciate your realism. Thank you

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