Usually when I get on the road to start my day, I think about the appointments I have, the tasks that I have to accomplish, and of course the normal everyday things you think about. I tend to do this often especially when the drive is a longer one. I don’t realize the underlying stress that comes with doing this, because it is so normal to me. I have even had coworkers in the truck with me that will get the random thought pass through my lips about some case that happened the day before. I get into work mode and forget that I can just enjoy the ride. What an environment I created!
One of my favorite things to do is to sit out on my back deck and read. It is peaceful, it is warm and I have my own slice of nature around me. Some homes I have visited just exude peacefulness. It’s as if there is a line that is crossed from my truck to their front door. One client/friend has a house in the middle of nowhere (or so it seems) the she and her husband built. The have a long drive that ends at their 3 story log/stone home. You are greeted right away by their donkeys, and then as you park you will get a glimpse of their two peacocks and the pair of geese waddling away. Their spiral staircase leads to the second story that has windows that overlooks the land beyond. The home invites you to stay as well as it’s owners. They have made their “environment” inviting and open.
Another friend of mine has this cabin in the woods. To be honest, just thinking about it spreads a peacefulness through me. As much as I love this cabin I love it’s owner’s more. Their “heart environment” is open, and loving. They are the kind of people that will be there for you. They are strong in their convictions, are kind, loving, and have an inviting way about them. When I visit with them, there is a security in knowing I will not be judge and I can be myself.
All too often my “heart environment” turns cynical instead of loving. I am working on this. When I think about the “environment” I am offering to people I would love for it to be joyous, loving, and a place where they feel safe to be themselves. I can only offer this environment if I have made it available to myself. The only way this can happen is if I chose to let it happen. I have to chose what I allow into my life. I have to chose what I get upset about and how I react to what upsets me. My kids love to see what will ruffle my feathers. At one point they told me they brought up things to me just to see what my reaction would be. When I am at work it’s the hardest for me, since I expect certain work ethics which I sometimes get. I have to chose to give grace and know that my expectations may not be my coworkers reality. I may have different work ethics then they do, doesn’t make one wrong over the other just different. Christ was a leader and He had expectations of His followers. His “heart environment” was joyful, loving and gracious. He is the only example that should be followed when it comes to the kind of “environment” we put out there.
Our “environments” can show people who we truly are. Striving to be the kind of person someone feels comfortable with is goal worthy. When we are stressed, cranky, rude and insensitive people feel it. When we are not genuine people feel it. True colors shine through when you are patient enough to wait. When there is a deep joy, a peace and a lifestyle of acceptance and love, there is strength in that. People feel that and want to be near that, like a good book on the back deck being warmed by the sun. Until next time:
Everything you need is already inside you. Don’t wait for others to light your fire. You have your own matches.Unknown