Reflections In Hindsight

Grace in the Rearview Mirror…it's closer than it appears

  • Ephesians 4:29

    Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. (NIV)

    **MATERIAL ON THIS SITE IS COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. For permission on reprints or reusing this material, please contact the individual authors. For sharing the actual post, please use the share buttons.

  • Blog Archives

  • Blog Stats

    • 85,081 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Cinema Saturday-- The 41 Most Unexpected Cat Jumps of All Time
      Why do jumping cats freak us out so much? And why do we laugh so hard at people who are freaking out?I'm one of those awkward laughers--someone who laughs at inappropriate times, such as when my husband does the splits on an icy sidewalk or when my child runs smack-dab into a doorpost. Unfortunately, compassion is not my go-to emotion. I do eventually f […]
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • She Does Good Hair by Terri Gillespie
      She Does Good HairShira Goldstein's life takes a drastic turn when she goes from styling the wealthy and famous at a premiere salon in Manhattan, to humiliated and unemployed in one day. Just when she thinks things couldn’t get worse, her Aunt Edna passes away. Her aunt leaves Shira her run-down salon, The Hair Mavens, but an unwelcome surprise accompan […]
    • A Warm Welcome to Terri Gillespie
      Is there a story behind your book She Does Good Hair? [Laughs] There’s always a story behind our stories, isn’t there? I’ve moved a lot and have therefore had many hairdressers over the years. I also sold advertising and specialized in ads for salons. Hair salons are an interesting culture and each has their own mood. One of my hairdressers was young woman w […]
    • Congratulation To Our Book Winners
      Once again, we offer you a warm welcome to the Bookshelf of the Barn Door Book Loft. I know you want to know ... WHO WON?But before we announce our five winners we’d like to offer a special thanks to:Laura Hilton who offered her  Amish Romance  Awakened Love.Valerie Goree who offered her  Suspense  Colors of Deceit. Annslee Urban who offered her  Romantic Su […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • NEW JUNE RELEASES for this month's CLASH of the TITLES
      It's a NEW CLASH!The best of summer reading - all in one list for you here. Find a New Author to love...I have.I'll apologize in advance...I could not cut anyone from the list, so we have MEGA LIST this month.You'll see what I mean: everything from spies, cloak and dagger to medieval to early Americana. Whew!The QUESTION ALWAYS IS:Based on the […]
    • O'Barr's Latest: Tender Shadows
      Author Ann Gaylia O'Barr visits today!She brings with her, in the form of her latest novel, all her experience as a Foreign Service officer in the turbulent Middle East. Tender Shadows is one of seven such novels and will appeal to lovers of foreign lands, culture, adventure, and romance.PURCHASEAmazonAbout Tender Shadows:When Beth Wilhite’s U.S. State […]
    • Winner of the May Release Clash
      And the winner is.....OF THE PERSECUTED by Angie BrashearCongratulations, Angie!This month's clash was a record-breaker from day one. As a hostess, one of the greatest things is seeing the voting numbers climb higher and higher. And I was thrilled to see so many turn out to vote during my clash. I love it! So thank you to everyone who voted and to our c […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Taking A Break
      If you are a regular reader you'll know I didn't post last week. We had just gotten home from vacation. Yellowstone National Park is fantastic. You know how things go when you get back. Well, that was the way it was for me. Add in an unplanned dental event and an 8 hour round trip to Chicago for a TV interview about Seeing The Life and you can prob […]
    • Sin Still Makes You Stupid and Your Stupidity  Ripples, Floods, or Tsunamis  
      A couple of years ago I wrote posts entitled Sin Makes You Stupid and The Ripple Effect. It's one of those truths that seem to be forgotten or glossed over. It's a truth we should be aware of and watch for within ourselves and others. The stupidity of sinning overflows into the lives of others. The consequences to ourselves is often increased expon […]
    • What's Next?
      Seeing The Life is off to a great start. It is garnering 5 star reviews and good publicity. Rhubarb Fest this year was good, even though I don't eat rhubarb. I left at noon on Saturday when the radar showed rain coming. I didn't want the books I had to get wet.So, what's next? I keep getting asked that question. When's your next book comi […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Christian Writers Conference
      Country  Memories Farm Christian Writing ConferenceAugust 8-9 in Manitowoc, WisconsinWe have wonderful speakers again this year: Becky Melby Ben Wolf  Kathryn SpringerFriday evening critiques by Susan Baganz  On-the-farm networking social "getting writers together" Please check us out at www.countrymemoriesfarm.com.Joy,http://LisaLickel.com […]
    • CrossReads Book Blast with Elizabeth Maddrey
      Hope DeferredBy Elizabeth MaddreyAbout the Book:Christian fiction for women. It's been a tough year. Twin sisters June and July and their husbands spent the last year trying to start a family. Now, as the sisters work with fertility specialists to see how medicine can help them conceive, each must determine what treatment is right for them in the midst […]
    • Book Review: As Is by Wendy Oleston
      As IsBy Wendy OlestonA Wisconsin Author!.99 Kindle12.99 printISBN-13:978-1499781335Buy on AmazonFrom the publisher:Life is hard for Mara Shaw. One bad relationship after another has left her a single mother with no faith in anything. She is unable to trust in anyone . . . including herself. She decides to start afresh, and never allow herself to be hurt agai […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • BOOK REVIEW: SHOUT IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION BY NICK ROSENER & ERIC LEHNEN
      A simple and straight forward approach for small business owners to defining your target market and using various marketing sources to reach it. With so many social media options at our doorstep, many small business owners/entrepreneurs may feel overwhelmed. Is more better?The authors pull from years of marketing experience to present an easily understandabl […]
    • Book Review—The Last to Know by Melissa Hill
      This women’s fiction book centers on three women whose lives intertwine as they look for happiness in love. Anna is engaged but can’t seem to set a date and then she finds out she’s pregnant.  Eve has lived with Liam for years and has children by him but isn’t married. All she wants is to be loved by Liam, be his wife and raise his children. Sam is a success […]
    • Book Giveaway: The Love Story by Stenetta
      Today I present children’s author Stenetta Anthony whose children’s book The Love Story released on May 6, 2014. This is her first publication; however, she is currently in the process of writing another children’s book.Stenetta Anthony resides in the Chicagoland area with her husband, children, and grandchildren. She uses her talents as a dramatic storytell […]
  • BLOG NEWS

    Thank you for your encouragement and support for the past three years. We've had fun connecting with you and hope you've found useful material here on Reflections. And here's the but... Reflections In Hindsight is closing on December 21, 2012. Elaine and Sophie and I can be found over at http://authorculture.blogspot.com; April can be found at Clash of the Titles, http://www.clashofthetitles, http://www.aprilgardner.com and watch for news for more novels from her!; Janet is ever-present on the Internet with her very special words of wisdom and grace at http://www.janetperezeckles.com, and Luther--who knows where he'll show up next, but I'd watch my back if I were you... Book Reviews are always important, so I, Lisa, will continue to offer them through my blog, as well as those promotions for your new books or book launches, or your news.
  • Second Monday: Sophie Dawson

  • Tuesdays – Promotion in Motion

  • Wednesdays: Life of a Writer – April & Positivity – Lisa Lickel

  • Thursdays – Luther’s on board

  • Fridays – Revolutionary Faith, Devotions by Elaine

  • Saturdays – Janet Perez Eckles

  • Sunday – Reflections Book Reviews

  • Blog Authors

  • The Barn Door

  • The Barn Door Book Loft. Free Books! Book Giveaways.

  • John 3:16 Marketing Network widget and many other great free widgets at Widgetbox! Not seeing a widget? (More info)>

Tossing the Garbage-Splattered Glasses

Posted by Jennifer Slattery on June 11, 2010

When I was in high school, my English instructor told us that we all look at the world through our own rose-colored glasses. What he meant was that we all view the world through our own perceptions which are colored, largely, by past experiences. I think that’s why I liked studying Shakespeare so much. There was never a wrong answer or a shortage of themes to “discover”. Although as I scanned the writings for opposing ideas (love vs. hate, civilization vs. nature, etc.) I soon realized how easy it was to twist a text to fit my views. The result: I got an A. A firm, 100 percent A, not because I had done a wonderful job of uncovering the deep recesses of Shakespeare’s mind, but because I could find justification for the themes I presented. Most of the arguments presented in my paper, however, originated with me.

It is amazing how powerful the human mind can be. And how deceptive. Our past experiences, whether positive or negative, color the way we view the world. And when garbage clutters our hearts, it spills over into our vision, giving us what I like to call “garbage-splattered glasses.” For years, I used these nasty old, distorted glasses to view my husband. Colored by false expectations, misinterpretations and misunderstandings, I often jumped to the worst of conclusions before taking the time to check my peripheral vision. When my husband came home from work exhausted after a twelve hour work day and sometimes a two hour commute (Los Angeles traffic. That says it all.) and headed straight for the couch, I took it as a sign of rejection. After all, if he loved me, and our daughter, he’d want to be with us. Apparently the television was more important.

I even held his little acts of love against him. My husband’s “love language” (the way he receives and expresses love) is through gifts and acts of service. Needless to say, I’m never at a shortage for clothes and jewelry. The only problem is my love language is quality time, so his tender expressions of love actually caused me pain. I saw them as robbing me of the time I so desperately needed. I quickly labeled his generosity as materialistic and his acts of service as emotional cop-outs. He was only buying me jewelry to impress the neighbors and was filling his available hours with busy work (taking my car to the car wash, filling it with gas, running errands, etc) so he didn’t have to spend time with me and our daughter. Sound crazy? Understand, it’s hard to see with garbage splattered glasses.

During this time, prayer became my best friend. My lifeline. Whenever my heart would break (largely from my own interpretations and false expectations) God would gently and lovingly draw me to His presence. And when you spend time in God’s presence, it isn’t long before your heart experiences some major spring cleaning. As I poured my heart out to God, He poured His out to me, and clarified my thinking. One day I was listening to a sermon on 1 Corinthians 13. We’ve all heard these verses before. They grace many living room walls, occupy countless sermons and lead to many teeth-gritting attempts, but often our well-intentioned attempts leave us flat on our face.

Don’t act all spiritual on me. You know what I mean. We wake up in the morning, read our daily devotion, scribble verses about being loving and patient on note cards then scatter them through out the house hoping they’ll remind us how to be a loving wife, only to end the day confessing how we’ve failed. And the reason we fail again and again is because our efforts stay at surface level. If our behaviors are ever to change, our thinking must be renewed first. And our hearts must be cleaned. Which is why the sermon I listened to that day had such an effect on me.

The pastor didn’t focus on all the outward behaviors of love (being patient, kind and gentle). He focused on the heart and zeroed in on “love always hopes.” When you hope, you expect the best in the other person. Each time. I had been doing just the opposite. I had been expecting the worst in my husband, and I realized I needed a reality check. And God’s help.

So once again, it began with prayer. Through the sermon, God showed me how faulty my perception was and how quickly I jumped to the wrong conclusion. And yet, the garbage was so thick on my glasses, I didn’t know how to view my world, and my husband, differently. Which was where prayer came in. I began to ask God to change my perception, to help me see my husband through his eyes. And whew, what God revealed floored me, and broke my heart. Suddenly, what I previously had seen as apathy revealed itself as exhaustion and pain. My husband’s heart was breaking just as much as mine. I remember one day walking into the den watching him watch television, seeing him in my new God-given light. For perhaps the first time since we had married two years earlier, I was actually seeing him. His heart. And it was beautiful. So beautiful, it drew me to him.  I nestled by his side and wrapped my arms around him. And the surprised, and deeply emotional, look that filled his eyes shattered through an entire mound of sludge. And opened up a world of intimacy. You see, my husband was no different than I was. All he wanted was to feel loved.

This prayer, that God would help me see my husband’s heart, has been repeated countless times in the fourteen years since. It is funny how easy it is for the splats of garbage to return. And yet, God cleans them off just as easily, if I let Him.

About these ads

3 Responses to “Tossing the Garbage-Splattered Glasses”

  1. Jodie said

    Oh, Jennifer. What a beautiful post. Thanks for the brutal honesty… It spoke to me. I’ve done the same things so many times, and it breaks my heart to know I’ve hurt my own husband by misunderstanding. Knowing his love language really does make all the difference. I love your prayer to have your perception changed and how God answered. He is really so amazing…

  2. Jen S. said

    Thanks, Jodie. I’m glad you found it encouraging. I agree, God has a way of melting hearts and transforming minds.

  3. Very interesting about 1Cor 13 “love always hopes”. Never heard that perspective before. Gave me a lot to think about. Thanks for sharing.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,249 other followers

%d bloggers like this: