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

    • 87,746 hits
  • RSS April’s Blog: A Writer’s Journey

    • Evil Parents and Rotten Kids
      A-ZE is for Evil Parents and Rotten KidsI present you Jimmy Kimmel's annual "I Told My Kids I Ate All Their Halloween Candy" video montage. It's an artful mixture of cruelty, humor, and ghastly awe. My favorite is Drawer Boy. Now there's an ax murderer in the making.Which is your favorite?
      noreply@blogger.com (April Gardner)
  • RSS Barn Door Book Loft

    • Calculated Risk by Zoe McCarthy
      Back Cover BlurbWhat happens when an analytical numbers man meets a mercurial marketing Rep? Romance is a calculated risk.Whoever said opposites attract was right, of course…but no one ever said what they attract.Jilted by the latest of her father’s choices of “real men,” Cisney Baldwin rashly accepts an invitation to spend Thanksgiving weekend with a sympat […]
    • A Warm Welcome to Zoe McCarthy
      Is there a story behind your book Calculated Risk? Most certainly. I wanted to write a story in which at least one character was an actuary. (Actuaries evaluate the financial risk of insurance companies.) Before the profession grew, actuaries received the bad reputation of being weird. Well, in many cases that’s true in behavior, dress, and social skills. I’ […]
    • Interview with Christian Author Ada Brownell
      Welcome back to the Barn Door Book Loft, Ada. It's always nice to visit with you. Did you have a specific theme in mind as you wrote the Bible Study book Swallowed By Life? Did a theme pop out as you finished the book? Did the theme change?After our daughter died I went through the New Testament and underlined every scripture that has to do with death a […]
  • RSS Clash of the Titles

    • 2014 Laurel Award Feature
      On October 22, 2014, A Miracle of Hope won Clash of the Titles' Laurel Award. During a six-week period, the novel's first 3,500 words were read and judged by avid readers of Christian fiction who determined it to be the worthiest to receive the 2014 Laurel Award.Clash of the Titles extends a heartfelt congratulations to author Ruth Reid for her com […]
    • Ane Mulligan's Fresh Taste of Small Town Life
      Bestselling author Ane Mulligan is here tell us about her debut novel about best friends in small-town life. Heartwarming and humorous, Chapel Springs Revival is the perfect excuse to curl up by the fireplace and read.Let's chat with main character Claire.I’ve heard you are the one who spearheaded the reviving of Chapel Springs. Is that true?Are you fro […]
    • September New Releases Clash Champion
      And we have a champion! Congratulations to clash winner Sharyn Kopf and her book Spinstered: The Novel. A touching debut, Spinstered began as a nonfiction book idea and, through God's design, became a novel that will speak to many women. For those in the Cleveland area, Sharyn will be selling and signing her novel at the Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academ […]
  • RSS Little Bits Blog

    • Chloe's Decision 
      As I stated last week, November is NANOWRIMO. I'm working on the next Stones Creek novel. It's the story of Chloe, Noah Preston's sister. She comes to Stones Creek with her two children. If you would like to read her pre-story simply subscribe to Sophie's Special Emails. No more than twice a month will you receive an email with special co […]
    • Remembering Fudgsicles
      It is November and thus NANOWRIMO, National Novel Writing Month. The challenge is to begin a novel and write 50,000 words during the month. Since this occupies most of my focus for these four weeks I will be reposting previous articles each week this month. Fudgsicles, how long has it been since I’ve had a fudgsicle? I’m not sure, but they came to mind when […]
    • Are You Teachable?
      What? You think you know everything? I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but no one knows everything. Oh, there is one, Hashem. He's omniscient. But no one else is. Even Yeshua (Jesus) isn't. He doesn't know the hour or day he will come again. Some people rejoice in learning something new. I tend to be one of those people. I read about […]
  • RSS Living Our Faith Out Loud

    • Book Ideas
           A Special Deal for all ReadersBelow is a wide selection of John 3:16 books to help you with your Christmas shopping. We have compared books that you may not have discoveredwith more well-known books that have a similar style or flavor. Enjoy perusing these 40 plus books which are linked to Amazon for easy purchase.And don’t forget,Jesus is the reason fo […]
    • Book Review: Laura J Davis and He Who Has an Ear
      He WhoHas An EarLaura J DavisJanuary 2014ISBN: 9781492125051Print $8.99, E-book $2.99Biblical ExpositionMore than two thousand years ago the Apostle John had a vision he received from the Lord. He was told to write seven letters to the churches of Asia Minor. Out of the seven churches only two received commendation from the Lord. The rest were letters of war […]
    • Alice J Wisler's new book, Under the Silk Hibiscus
      Under the Silk HibiscusAlice J. WislerLighthouse Publishing of the CarolinasRelease date: November 11, 2014ISBN-13: 978-1941103302Print: 11.39Buy on AmazonAbout the Book:During World War Two Nathan and his family are sent to Heart Mountain, an internment camp in Wyoming for Japanese-Americans. Nathan's one desire is to protect the family's gold poc […]
  • RSS Nearly Brilliant

    • BOOK REVIEW: MIRACLES: 32 TRUE STORIES
      32 stories people have shared about ways they have seen a divine hand in their hardships, struggles, moments of danger and more.This book will put any struggles you face or have faced in perspective and are a testament to the human spirit and faith in God.  I give this 4 out of 5 stars.Here's the amazon linkMiracles: 32 True Stories
    • Book Review: Daughter of Joy, Brides of Culdee Creek Book 1 by Kathleen Morgan
      In this historical romance Abigail Stanton is a widow who has lost a child and a husband and is still grieving. She accepts a job as housekeeper for Conor MacKay, a gruff man who has not only been through a string of housekeepers but has also lost a wife who ran off and a son who stole from him and then disappeared. He also has a child from an Indian woman a […]
    • Book Review: The Redemption by Mary Lu Tyndall
      This is the first in the King Pirates series by this author. Charlisse Bristol fleas an abusive uncle and sets off to find the father she never met but a fiece storm shipwrecks her on a deserted island.  She’s rescued by Captain Merrick head of a group of pirates.Devilishly handsome Merrick has recently turned his life over to Christ but he still has much mo […]
  • 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 1,245 other followers

%d bloggers like this: