Rules of Thumb for Life

I’m a nuts and bolts kind of gal. I like to find the practical in just about everything. And like my frugal father who never wasted a drop of his bargain bottle Coke, I don’t want to miss a drop of useful insight so that I can pass it along to you.

So here are a few tools from my toolbox:

  1. Saying “no” isn’t selfish when someone is asking too much of you.  In fact, it can be the most responsible choice at times.
  2. Recognize the only person you can change is yourself.
  3. Admitting your faults or weaknesses makes you look better to others, not worse.
  4. Choosing not to practice a good habit you want to establish in your life is not a neutral choice, but a negative one.  It discourages that good habit from developing.
  5. You are responsible to others and for yourself—you are not responsible for others.
  6. You can be lonely—even the loneliest—in a relationship.  In other words, a relationship is not the cure for loneliness.
  7. We are drawn to and try to recreate the familiar in our lives, even if the familiar is bad.
  8. Develop compassion for others by listening and learning about them.  You cannot care for someone you do not fully know or understand.

Hopefully, one of the “tools” listed above is something you can use in a problematic relationship or situation. And don’t forget to let me know which ones are most helpful for you!

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Comments on: "Rules of Thumb for Life" (3)

  1. Beth
    They are all great insights but I want to focus on #6 – being lonely in a relationship! This is an insight that has taken me a long time to learn and it is still one of those areas that I struggle with periodically. My dad was absent from my life growing up and I have always been searching for someone to fill that void in my life. I’ve tried good friends, dating relationships, marriage and my own mother -the loneliness would go away temporarily but I became so dependent on those relationships that they weren’t helping me. Don’t get me wrong, I love my mom-husband and friends but they could never completely fill that lonely void. I accepted Jesus as my savior when I was nine but never let Him completely fill that void until just a few years ago. The only relationship I’ve found to leave me not feeling lonely is the one I have in Christ. Deut. 31:8 & Josh. 1:9 are verses that gave me comfort in knowing not to be scared or discouraged because the Lord will never leave me and He will be with me wherever I go. I also love Isaiah 43:2,3b because I am promised once again that He will always be with me. No person in the human flesh can promise me that!

  2. Thanks so much for bringing up that very important point, Becky. That is so true.

    However, I know of many believers who, for whatever reason, do not turn to God or “abide” in Him, so that need goes unmet in their lives and they continue to feel lonely.

    I think it involves a complete surrender and a daily reliance that is incredibly hard, and at the same time, so easy once we decide to trust.

    Thanks for sharing! I always love it when my readers engage with my blog!

  3. I do love your blog, Beth. I read it all the time and can relate to so much. I really like hearing about the marriage and relationship advice. I love your honesty on your own relationship with Gary. I have a tendency to put certain people above me and think that they could not possibly have any problems. Crazy, I know. Thanks so much for your posts. They truly minister to my heart and are a blessing during this time in my life where I have had to take a step back in serving around Metro so I can serve my husband. (and I don’t mean giving in to his every little thing but serving as honoring and respecting) God is so good and He is faithful. The more I trust Him and obey, the more He blesses me with people of encouragement.

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