About Theresa Boedeker

Theresa Boedeker, a lover of life and its graces, writes and podcasts about this crazy and messy adventure called life. She tries to laugh often and out loud. Visit TheresaBoedeker.com to receive encouragement, join the laughter, and unwrap the gift of life.

What do You Believe About Others?

 

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.I think it is sometimes interesting what we believe about others.

The people floating about us that we see in public spaces and private.

These beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true. Our reality.

And the funny thing is, our experiences often justify and prove our beliefs.

A friend and I were talking over a meal and I mentioned that I thought most people were basically helpful and friendly in public.

The look she gave me could have competed with a deer in headlights.

I paused. Replayed what I said through the soundtrack of my mind, and then wondered why she was looking at such me in such a startled manner.

Finally, she spoke.

I believe just the opposite, she said. Most people are out to get you, don’t care about you, and will turn on you if given the chance.

Now I looked like the deer in the headlights.

Clearly, we had differing opinions on the populace we lived among.

We were on either ends of the spectrum.

I stated my reasons for why most people could be trusted. Cited personal examples and gave antidotes and examples from my personal experience. I built up a case that was sound and overwhelming.

Then she stated her reasons why most people were not to be trusted and didn’t care a whit for you. She cited personal examples and gave antidotes and examples from her own life. Her case was also very strong.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.Bottom line, her experiences from her childhood and into adulthood had built a solid case that supported her beliefs about the populace.

And my experiences from childhood and life had formed and supported my case.

She had been bullied, teased, and suffered verbal abuse at the hands of her peers in school.

I hadn’t.

People judged her body harshly because she didn’t fit in with the popular norm.

I hadn’t.

On she went, marching to the present day.

I soon saw that if I had experienced those same incidents and situations, I would probably be distrustful of other people too.

After I shared my side, she saw how I had formed my opinions based upon my experiences.

We each had opinions that differed, and yet life was continuing to validate our opinions of others. What we were looking for, we saw.

I talked to another friend about this and asked her how she viewed others, and she agreed with me, that she was pretty trusting of other people, but she thought men were after only one thing.

Once again, her experiences confirmed this. She had been hit upon by lots of men.

I hadn’t.

I remember being in in elementary school and a friend asking me if it was weird to have freckles and red hair.

I remember looking at her and thinking she was weird to ask. No. It wasn’t weird. My parents had red hair. 4 of my siblings had red hair. Freckles landed on all of us. Freckles and red hair were normal to me.

But not to her.

I look back now, and I am sure I was the only girl she knew with red hair and freckles. I don’t remember ever seeing another one in our town.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.We get used to what we grow up around.

We believe what has happened to us in the past, will happen again in the future.  Our past, we think, indicates our future.

My friend had known unkind people from an early age. So naturally she would view the world through that lens.

My other friend had known men who wanted to flirt and make sexual advances. Naturally she viewed the world through that lens.

And I viewed the world through my lens and thought most people were nice because that was what I had experienced.

All of us were right in our own way. And yet we all saw the world a little skewed.

So how could we know the real truth?

And could our truth change over time?

I had another friend tell me she didn’t trust men because her father had left her life at a very early age. Because of this, she had a tough time trusting other men. Then she married a trustworthy guy. Slowly over time, her opinion about men changed. She saw her husband kept his word. Then noticed other men did too.

Another person changed her view slowly over time.

So why does this matter?

How do our opinion of others affect us?

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.The opinions we have of others can affect us in some important ways:

 

1. We often find what we are looking for. When we view the world and others through our specific opinion lens, we often find and look for confirmation of our viewpoint. A person who thinks people are nice, will notice when someone opens the door for them, smiles at them, or jokes with them. A person who thinks others are not nice, will notice when someone takes their parking spot, frowns at them, and cuts them off on the road. But not only will they notice these things, but these things will be remembered longer than the opposite things done for them.

Both may in the same day have the same number of people smile at them and take their parking spot, but one will remember the smiles, and the other will remember the parking lot steal. Both have confirmed their viewpoint they have of others.

2. How we think people will treat us, may affect the way we treat them. If we think people will not like us, we will put up our defenses and not be so friendly. We don’t want to get hurt again. But if we think people will like us, we may go up and introduce our self, mingle more, and take more risks with trying to make new friends.

3. Our opinions of others affects our fear and anxiety levels. Before visiting a foreign country, I heard stories of places with high levels of pickpocketing. Fear began to grip my travel plans. How would I carry my money? Suddenly the trip seemed less fun if I had to hide my money next to my underwear. Then I read in a travel book that the country I was visiting had very little pickpocketing. When I landed, I kept my purse wrapped around me and no money inside. It became apparent, though, that the guide book was correct. As my opinion changed, I was able to relax and quit worrying about my money and purse. The trip also became more pleasurable with my fear and anxiety abated.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.4. Our opinions of others often affects our opinions of God. If we distrust others, it is often hard for us to trust God. If people have been unfair to us, we are more likely to expect God to be unfair. If people show us grace and forgiveness, we are more apt to think God extends these to us too.

My mother had very conditional love and often let us know when we displeased her. Because of this, I grew up thinking I had to be nearly perfect to please God. The idea that God was already pleased with me in my current state was foreign to me until years later.

Remember my friend who didn’t trust men because her father was never to be trusted? She overlaid her opinions about her father onto God. For years, she thought God was not to be trusted, that he would break his promises without warning. Just like her dad had.

Changing her reality was a lengthy process, but so worth it.

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality.

But that doesn’t mean those self-truths are correct.

Because of this, you may want to ask yourself: What are your opinions of others? How do those opinions affect your daily life choices and thoughts? Your anxiety and fear levels? Your view of God?

Let’s quit confirming our truths, if they are wrong. Let’s quit believing our past to be indicative of our future, if it is based upon flawed thinking.

Let’s start noticing the flaws in our thinking.

Start believing the real truth. God’s truth

Over time, it will become our reality

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the Discussion: How do your views of life and others affect your views of God?

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

The beliefs we hold about others and assume to be true often becomes our reality. They shape our life. But are those perceptions and belief systems correct? And how do those views affect us? Find out.

5 Tips for a Mostly Balanced Life

 

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.Do you ever dream of a perfectly balanced life?

One where you are well-rested from self-care, well-dressed because the laundry has been completed and actually put away, and well-fed as dinner is tasty and on time. Family members are positive and problem free. Work is trouble-free. Your calendar and tasks are working like a well-oiled machine. No errands await. The radar screen registers at level and problem free for the next several months.

This perfectly balanced life sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it?

Confession time. I wish I had a perfectly balanced life.

Both my hands are waving in the air like a twisting Tinker Toy.

I wouldn’t mind trying that kind of life. Trying to keep it for a while.

Maybe a long while.

My attitude has been known to get twisted in a snarly knot because I see no perfectly balanced life on my horizon. Or even in the distant future. And more confession. At my age, I was hoping that after putting in all that time and learning all those life lessons, my perfectly balanced life would have now arrived. And decided to stick around full-time.

But it hasn’t.

I also thought by now I would at least know how to organize and maintain a perfectly balanced life.

I am failing at that too.

If you are reading this post because you are looking for the blueprint to the perfectly balanced life or want to know what percentages you should categorize your life into, well then, I have another confession to make.

The perfectly balanced life does not exist.

Not for you. Not for me. Not for your friends.

I hate to be a party downer, but I just can’t lie to you.

The perfectly balanced life is an elusive myth, like the Loch Ness Monster, an alien baby president, or a unicorn herd living among the Antarctica penguins. Okay, maybe it is not quite that crazy, but it is as unattainable as having a perfect life. Raising the perfect child. Or becoming the perfect mom.

The truth is there is no perfect anything.

We like to think these things exist somewhere, and that maybe we can one day become one (or learn how to become one), but the truth is that they exist only in our imagination. Or on our goal board.

There is no perfectly balanced life.

So now you know the bad news. You can’t have a perfectly balanced life. But there is also some good news. You can have a life that is mostly balanced for you.

What you say?

Yes, you can have a life that is balanced for you and yours.

So how do you obtain this mostly balanced life?

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.Keep these 5 steps in mind to achieve your mostly balanced life:

 

1. Decide what balance looks like for you (and your family). Quit looking for the right formula. The perfect pie chart that tells you how to divide your time and commitments. Because everyone’s mostly balanced life will look different.

Figure out your needs. A working mom’s life will look different from a home school mom’s life. Balance for a single person will be different from a married person. Figure out what self-care, friendship, commitments, responsibilities, work, play, and expectations are reasonable and healthy for you and your family. What tasks can you accomplish? What tasks can be delegated? What tasks can be hired out? What areas needs more focus, which areas needs less focus? Maybe you need to schedule more time for play and quit working so much. Or focus more on achieving your dreams and less time on Netflix.

Be realistic and honest. You may be able to organize the annual fun run this year, but not next year. So, before you say yes, and take on another task, make sure you are currently able to accomplish what you already have on your plate. Learning to say no will help keep your life more balanced.

Remember that as time moves forward, your balanced life will change, and you will move into new stages and opportunities. So, re-evaluate what balance looks like for you on a regular basis.

2. Everyone’s balanced life looks different, so no comparing or judging. We are all in different stages. Accomplishing different goals. Our families and lives are different. Just like there is no one approach that works with infants to get them to sleep through the night (otherwise there would not be 3, 486 theories on Dr. Google), there is no one system or pie chart that works best for everyone when trying to balance their life.

Some people’s lives will look similar to yours, and other people’s lives will make no sense to you. And that is alright.  Everyone is making choices and decisions based upon their family and situation.

One woman will have the time and skill to make her own cheese from scratch and then make fresh cheese appetizers to bring to the party. Don’t compare yourself to her or you will feel bad about your store-bought cheese platter. And you shouldn’t. Do what you are good at and what you have the time for. Don’t compare and then feel guilty about not doing it all.

But you say. I could make my own cheese from scratch and bring freshly made cheese appetizers to the party and feel better about myself. Yes, you could. But do you want to start playing that game of trying to keep up with every Sally Jane? And will doing that bring balance or unbalance to your life? It may wear you out and bring some looks of admiration from others and some bragging rights, but it certainly won’t make you a better person, increase your worth, or add balance.

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.3. Know your triggers and limits. (And those of your family.) The more you know about yourself  and your family members, the easier it is to plan and maintain a mostly balanced life.

Maybe you have children that need time to unwind and just do nothing. We call them free nights at our house. My family thrives on free nights. Knowing this fact about us, I am careful about scheduling something every night and instead build in nights where nothing is going on.

4. Excelling in one area of life will cause you to fail in another area of life. If you focus on working late every night for two weeks, something will have to drop. Maybe it is making dinner. Tucking the little ones into bed. Going to book club. I am not sure what will get absorbed and put on hold, but something will.

Does that mean you shouldn’t work late? Commit to extra things? Never say yes to opportunities?

No. But let’s be realistic. Realize when you devote extra time to one area of your life, another area will shrink or disappear for a while. This is just going to happen. So, weigh your options.

You know the feeling when you arrive home from vacation and the next morning you feel overwhelmed with laundry, unpaid bills, unread mail, and the 392 other things clamoring to be done? It is because more attention was focused on play and relaxation and laundry and daily tasks were put on hold. Balance is wanting to be restored. It is now up to you whether you will focus on feeling like a failure because of the laundry or remember the success of your vacation.

Part of living a mostly balanced life is realizing these equations and not getting upset or surprised when they happen.

5. Quit trying to do it all. If you have bought into the idea that you can look like you just stepped from a fashion magazine, work full-time, attend all your children’s events, have a clean house, eat dinner as a family, volunteer at the food bank, keep up with your 25 girlfriends, make homemade lasagna for the potluck, decorate your house like a pro, and get 8 hours of sleep a night, than you have been hoodwinked.

No one can keep up a schedule like this for very long before falling down in exhaustion.

I know social media, magazines, and others are telling us that we can be all, do all, and accomplish all, but we can’t. We are flesh and blood and have only so much energy. So much time. We can’t keep adding things to our life and not face overwhelm or fail in another area of our life.

Lesson your stress and give yourself permission to lower your expectations to reality. You will be happier. Those around you will be happier. And you will be one step closer to your mostly balanced life.

I want you to remember this.

You can’t have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you.    

Let’s move closer to real balance.

Real life.

A livable, real life that contains boundaries, looks like us and our needs, acknowledges our limits, and is achievable.

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What helps you live a mostly balanced life?

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

You can't have a perfectly balanced life, but you can have a life that is mostly balanced for you. Learn 5 tips to achieve your own mostly balanced life.

How Pride Impacts Our Relationships

Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.“I think you are angry.”

“Nope.”  I spat out.

We were in our first year of marriage and driving north to visit friends.

“Well you sure seem angry.”

“I’m not,” I said staring at the red light we were waiting on.

Just breathe, I reminded myself. Stay calm.

“There is nothing wrong with admitting you are angry,” he said, a few minutes of silence later. “Anger is just an emotion. It doesn’t make you a bad person.”

I listened a little more intently. I had never heard that before.

“So, what if you are angry. Big deal. It would be better to admit you are angry and discuss it, than try and stuff it down and pretend you are not angry.”

“Maybe.”

He sighed. “Why is it so had for you to admit anything? To admit you are not perfect? To admit you are wrong?”

Ouch. I didn’t want to answer that question out loud.

We stopped for another light. He looked at me. I looked at him, trying to smile, but it felt so fake.

“Okay,” I spit out. “I am angry. I am angry at you. I am angry about this morning. I am angry.”

“Well,” he laughed. “Now don’t you feel better?”

Tears sprang to my eyes. Not with him laughing at me. No, I now felt like a failure.

He took my hand. “Do you know what? I love you when you are stubborn and don’t apologize, and I love you when you do. But it is so much easier to love you when you admit you are human and admit your faults. When you admit you are angry, when you really are angry. Just be honest. With yourself and me.”

Some conversations are tuning points.

Some conversations make us think and then come to new truth.

Some conversations we will remember in the future at just the right time.

This was one of those conversations.

I had always thought of myself as an apologizer. I don’t know how many times I had been told by my mother growing up, “Tell your sister you are sorry. Apologize to your brother.” And I had. I had always said the words, even if I had not always meant them.

But I had also been the perfect child in our family of six kids. The one where mom would say, “Why can’t you be like your sister?” and point to me.  Because I worked so had to do the right thing, I ended up apologizing a lot less than my always-in-trouble older brother and independent-and who-cares younger sister.

Yes, I grew up thinking I was related to Mary Poppins. “Practically perfect in every way.”

And when I grew older and time had passed, I realized that my mom was very prideful. I don’t ever remember her apologizing. And I had adopted more of her attitude than was good for me.

As I thought over the next months, and even years, about why it was so hard for me to apologize, to admit I was wrong, I came back to the same thing. My pride was tripping me up. Causing me to stumble and keeping me from confessing.

Pride of wanting to be right.

Pride of wanting to defend my actions. (After all, my reasons were so good.)

Pride of wanting to appear almost perfect.

Pride of what others would think.

Pride of exposing the truth to myself and others.

Pride of appearing weak.

Pride of admitting fault.

My pride was a stumbling block and affected my relationships. Because one thing pride likes to do, is lie. Pride lies all sorts of convincing lies. Lies that keep us from the truth. From perusing love. From abundant grace.  From growth and change. From deeper relationships. Pride is supposed to keep us from pain, but it doesn’t. Pride weaves elaborate lies that we tend to believe. Lies that in the end extract harsher consequences because of the tangle of deceit we create.

Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.Some lies of pride:

 

Others wont’s like/love us if they knew the truth.

Hide. Never tell. It is safer.

Forgiveness is never free. We must work to earn our forgiveness.

Confessing makes us indebted to the person.

Asking forgiveness is admitting guilt and a sign of weakness.

Come on. Technically we are not guilty. Look for a loophole.

Don’t admit guilt unless we are 100% wrong. 96% or even 5% does not count.

We may not be forgiven, so why bother.

The other person screwed up too. Let them confess first.

Forgiveness is over rated.

Confessing may ruin us.

These lies have no truth in them. Satan wants us to believe these lies because then we will walk in fear, and not the light of forgiveness. Because then we will walk in the same old rut, and not newness and change. Because it will cut us off from community and help. Because when we are consumed with guilt and shame our eyes remain focused on our self, not on a God who redeems us, loves us, and pours abundant grace on our souls.

Pride is one of the main culprits that hinders our relationships with others. It is our pride that causes us to defend our actions. Justify and explain why we are in the right and turn and blame them for their wrong doing. Pride separates us from others. It causes us to lie to them and our self. It keeps us from doing the right thing in the relationship. It stops us from pursuing reconciliation, compromise, and forgiveness.

Often, we know we are wrong, but it is our pride that keeps us from doing the right thing.

Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.How to chip away the stumbling block of pride:

 

1. Strive for humility. Humility is seeing our self and God as we both really are. He is the only perfect one. We are the sinful one. And yet God want to have a relationship with us. He wants to parent us. Love us. Give us all sorts of good gifts. Call us beloved. When we realize that we are dependent on God and his forgiveness and grace (which he freely gives), that creates in us a desire to change and grow.

2. Take responsibility. It is so much easier than explaining why we didn’t really do something everyone knows we really did. Making excuses that make no sense, or trying to argue that it was really was someone else’s fault is just plain nonsense. Stop stepping away and instead take responsibility. People will be relieved, and our trust ratings will soar.

3. Just do it. Practice apologizing; it will become easier. Start with little things. Move to bigger things. Or do it the other way. Once you have confessed a big thing, other confessions may seem easier.

I remember the day I confessed to a big thing (Yes, I said the words out loud that I was not perfect!) My heart was racing, my palms sweaty. All the spit in my mouth had turned to dust bunnies. I knew my voice would crack. I knew my world would fall apart. But I did it. I squeaked out the words. And guess what? I survived. The world did not collapse. My heart kept beating. And of course, no one died of surprise. They already knew it. And still loved me.

I kept confessing. And it got easier.

The same will happen for us if we keep apologizing when we need to. The silly thing is, when we confess our wrong doing, we are usually not surprising anyone. Often everyone sees we need to confess before we realize it. If we have yelled at the family, they all know we yelled at them. There is no surprise when we say we should not have yelled at them and ask their forgiveness. Often there is just gratitude from them that we took responsibility for our actions, and now they can stop telling us we were wrong.

4. Keep it Simple. Forget the perfect words. Just say: “I am sorry for  – – – -, please forgive me.”

Remember, if we justify or make excuses, then we are no longer apologizing. “I am sorry I hurt your feelings, but you need to be nicer to me,” does not qualify. When we add a “but,” we are often justifying and blaming them. Saying, “I am sorry you feel that way,” is also not an apology. It is really telling them that their feelings are wrong.

After we say we are sorry, we can also offer some sort of restitution or help, if appropriate. “I know I didn’t mow the lawn like I said I would. Can I now clean the bathroom for you?”

 

I can’t say that I don’t still let my pride get the best of me. I do. But my husband was right. We are easier to love when we acknowledge we are human. When we admit our mistakes. 

It has taken me a long time, but I have learned that despite my aversions to it, confession is good for my soul. It helps restore relationships, keeps pride in check, stop the blaming and justifying of my actions, and passes grace and forgiveness out to others and myself.

So, go ahead.

Confess when necessary.

Apologize quickly.

Abundant grace awaits.

Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.

Thanks for stopping by. Keep remembering what’s important.

Theresa

 


If you need some weekly encouragement and hope, tied up with some humor? Subscribe and join the journey. Life is sweeter when we walk alongside one another.


Join the discussion: What lies of pride do you believe?

Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.May link up at Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart), Lori Schumaker (#Moments of Hope), Crystal Storms (#HeartEncouragement), Arabah Joy (#Grace & Truth).

Pride can negatively affect relationships. Learn 4 ways to slay pride and the fears that drive it.