Who let the dogs out?

This morning I was frantically trying to get everything taken care of in preparation for leaving town later. I was on the phone with the insurance company, my sweet yardman was been here and Tucker is pawing at me to go out. In my distracted state, I assumed that the yard was done and let the dogs out and went back to my phone calls. I’m interrupted by a frantic Paxton asking where the dogs are. As luck would have it, he happened to see them escape out the opened gate. Let me introduce the bandits:

They are big, obnoxious, annoying, loud, barking, yet loveable mutts. I did not choose them, I didn’t really want them, I’m just the mom who says, “I’d be glad to do whatever I can to help!” The dogs and I have managed to develop a healthy love/hate relationship. But back to Friday, unbeknownst to me, my sweet yardman is cutting two lawns in my neighborhood at once, which is not his normal routine. I thought he was done, but he was across the street and still had to come back and blow the grass off, so when I let the dogs out, they discovered an open gate and ran for it! Strangely, Paxton thought he saw them run by his window and came to look for them. I run, jumped in the car and find them about four houses down peeing on a mailbox, call them, the jump in the car and head back to captivity. Upon my return home, there are several cars in front of my house a few neighbors on foot and one car pulled over yelling at my yard man for leaving the gate open and threatening to call the police. That is after a man walking his dog had already chewed him out. Another proceeds to call me to tell me that I need to instruct my yard man to keep that gate closed so I don’t get sued!

I have to admit, I don’t know my neighbors. Twenty years ago my next door neighbor didn’t like us and every time her kids saw my kids she called them inside because she wanted nothing to do with us. The kids proceeded to sneak behind her back and play through the wooden fence. But I now realize that I’ve been forever damaged by the rejection of that one person and never allowed myself to invest in neighbors, I just want to live here in peace and to do that I’ve decided the less we know about each other the better! Oh they all knew Russell, he worked in the yard and visited with everyone, but alas, he is dead! A lady came to my door some months ago complaining that I had a loose picket and they were afraid the dogs would get out so she offered to have her husband come screw the loose pickets in, that was thrown in my face today as well. I know my neighbors don’t like the dogs. I know they are loud and obnoxious. But they’re dogs! They don’t bark after 9:00 nor before 7:00. They have never attached or bitten anyone besides each other when attention, a treat or food was to be competed for. However, the outpouring of anger, rage, hysteria and downright pure hatefulness over their approximate five minute adventure dumfounds me!

Where do you go from here? I thought about writing an open letter of apology for the existence of the animals they evidently harbor so much resentment toward the beasts behind the fence and posting it in my front yard. I thought of hanging a “Beware of Dogs” sign to protect myself legally. My kids wanted to call the lady back and tell her if she ever called and upset me again, they’d call the police. But at the end of the day I just have to let it go! I understand fear, I understand being protective, I understand those things hide behind anger. I also understand overreaction and letting your anger unleash the demons within you. I don’t understand harsh words to my yard man that is just about the kindest, nicest person I have EVER met.

When I was growing up attending church youth group with a collection of young ne’er-do-wells I remember sitting around the campfire singing, “They will know we are Christians by our love.” I understand that love to be a compassionate walking along side others, both known and unknown. That love cannot include spewing our wrath in the name of being “neighborly” or trying to prevent you “being sued”. So when I’m mad at my neighbor I must stop and think! Was anyone harmed? Do I know why this crazy lady has these obnoxious dogs? Have I ever attempted to speak to her when I wasn’t angry? Do we really need to threaten a worker with calling the police because a gate was left open? I think not.

I think also about my friend who at this very same time is burying her second husband in five years, and she’s only 40! I think about the people in my GriefShare class who have lost grandkids to suicide. I think about Simone Biles who has to deal with the wrath of America because she chose her own peace of mind over a gold medal. I think about how desperately our world needs understanding and compassion – not from ‘those people’ but from me and you, even in our own neighborhood.

The thing about it is ... Life is hard, but God is good! Every, single encounter we have with others matters! Every word we utter will either build up or tear down and no matter the words that have been uttered to us, we still have a choice to choose our words. I choose kindness, I hope you will too! I’m going away for the weekend after all to hear Jackie Hill Perry and spend some much needed time with friends. I hope my neighbors don’t riot, kill the dogs, the kids, nor feel compelled to waste some poor policeman’s time because a gate was left open!


Peace does not come from the absence of struggle and conflict.
It is the presence of God creating a stillness within you 
that is greater than what's going on around you.
Steven Furtick

I seemed to have lost last week. I got the second COVID vaccine on Sunday, felt like I had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome on Monday, ran a fever Monday night so I had to miss school on Tuesday. Spent Wednesday and Thursday trying to put my kids back together that fell apart on Tuesday. Friday my kids had a zillion and two tests and I woke up with a raging UTI. I made an emergency stop at Walgreens for Cranberry juice and AZO and pushed through. After the last test, I bugged out and crashed. I thought I felt better Saturday until Paxton said, “Have you taken your temperature today, you don’t look good?” So I took my temperature, which was normal, and just went back to bed. Sunday I finally start to feel human.

My mom reminded me Saturday that my grandmother used to say, “I didn’t know I was sick, I just thought I was lazy.” But then you finally fell better and realize, you might not be a lazy bum after all. Sunday I finally began to feel like I might survive and began to dig myself out. This was the verse for Saturday…

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward . You are serving the Lord Christ. For the wrongdoer will be paid back for the wrong he has done, and there is no partiality.

Colossians 3:23-25

yea, yea, yea, I get that, but it’s hard and burdensome and overwhelming and becoming drudgery and leaving me feeling very depleted! But I push on and this is Sunday’s verse…

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (Emphasis added)

and suddenly realize again that the work we are to do heartily, is not our own doing. And that depletion comes from worrying about what I can do to try and fix the problems I face rather than acknowledging, living aware of the fact that this work given to us to do will not be a result of my work, it won’t be a result of my own doing. I should feel overwhelmed, I should feel depleted, it’s too much for my own strength. If I can’t boast then I also can not be blamed, I can’t shoulder the blame for that which I am not responsible. I can only allow God to use me in the situation as he pleases. It may work out well, and I can’t boast about that, and it may not and I can’t shoulder the blame for that. I just have to play my part, fulfill my role, walk in obedience and leave the rest to him.

I can then reflect that chances are good a vaccine sapped my energy and strengthen, while taking on the problems of those around me as if they were my issues to resolve and result in boasting or blame–leaves me depleted as well.

So today, living post-resurrection, I tap in afresh to the grace that has saved me by faith. It will be bad, it will be good, it will not be up to me. I can then chose to walk the path laid before me trusting that all things work together for good for those who love the Lord and desiring for others to see his light shine through me!

Thirty-three days left in the 2020-21 school year. We have triumphs and tragedies yet to face for which we can neither boast nor be blamed, if we are walking in the grace of God. Chose your steps wisely!

More than just a man

Our hope is found in the fact that Jesus came to be the final Passover Lamb, not just a great teacher and a miracle healer.

Paul David Tripp Journey to the Cross Day 38

A common struggle we face is enough. I don’t have enough time. I don’t have enough money. When I have time I don’t have money and when I have money I don’t have time. I didn’t do enough. I didn’t say enough. I’m not enough. The sentiment is torturous to us as we equate it with failure, inadequacy. But Dr. Tripp takes that concept and points out ways our perception of Jesus may not be enough and that’s a good thing! It’s not enough that Jesus was a great teacher. It’s not enough that he healed the sick. It’s not enough that he confronted false religion. It’s not enough that he sent the disciples out with a theological message. We needed more, but the good news is he is more. He is the Passover Lamb. He is the fulfillment of the covenant promises of old. His blood covers and cleanses us and that is enough. Because that is enough we are enough! We can rest in the knowledge that we don’t have to be enough, because he is!

The next few days of the Christian calendar are somber. They are filled with betrayal, beatings, and brutality. But take heart, Sunday is coming! The darkness of the days ahead will not last and neither will the dark days you face.

Discover anew

My oldest, Ryan says it’s kind of cruel how parents make such a big deal out of kid’s birthday’s for them to only grow and realize, really, no one cares that it’s your birthday. Imagine that, I raised a cynic! I can’t image where he gets that from! As a result it really struck a chord with me when Dr. Tripp talked about how we become complacent with the familiar. He points out that when we become familiar with something, we think we know more than we actually do and since we know it all why continue to study. I think that is why Lent and Advent are so important. Without these seasons of preparation and focus we go the through the motions of Christmas and Easter without taking a break to examine the gravity of these celebrations. Without them a baby is born in December, a man dies in the spring and we go on about our lives unscathed. But if like children we just show up to the party to be honored, it becomes shallow, meaningless and even drudgery.

I hope that you will take this Holy Week to visit afresh the last days of Christ, the gravity of those events and yourself emerge a new creation because of the sacrifice he has made so that we can look forward with hope to eternity. “May we remember and hold fast to the resurrection in a way that rules our hearts and shapes our lives” Paul David Tripp, Wednesday Word.

 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.

1 Corinthians 15:1-2

Pay attention

You can’t repent of what you haven’t confessed, you can’t confess what you haven’t grieved, and you can’t grieve what you haven’t seen.

Paul David Tripp, Journey to the Cross, Day 30

On Day 26 Dr. Tripp talks about how he believes that “satisfaction is a much bigger problem than dissatisfaction” (pg 150) in our lives. I struggle with putting that into perspective with Paul’s words when he says, “for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content” (Philippians 4:11). How do we balance this satisfaction with contentment? I started with the dictionary. According to dictionary.com satisfaction comes from meeting expectations, while content means peaceful happiness. Therefore, Dr. Tripp is talking about sin in our lives with which we have become complacent about. We become too comfortable with sin we should be confessing and grieving. But we can’t grieve that which we don’t see. I can’t confess that I’ve hurt your feelings if I’m oblivious to it. I’ll make excuses rather than accept responsibility. But while Dr. Tripp is calling us to be dissatisfied with the sin we refuse to see in ourselves, Paul is calling us to be content with that which we cannot change. Dissatisfaction leads to change, we will not change that which we are satisfied with as that implies that we are done, but I can be content with where I am without being satisfied. I need to be content with my salvation, knowing I am loved by God yet pay attention and be dissatisfied with my sinfulness–see it, grieve, confess it and do better. I can’t sit her content with my sin, because I know it separates me from God. I can’t hate on myself because I am a sinner because I am made in the image of God. Therefore, balance is again the answer. Because I am made in the image of God, my sins are forgiven and I want to honor that image by doing better. I can’t walk away unchanged.

There are several areas in my life I need to be dissatisfied with! I need to see them with eyes anew, grieve them and confess them while being content that I am a child of God sins and all.

What do you think?

Malcolm & Martin

One of the many things that frustrates me about our culture is that we tend to either glamourize or villainize. Circumstances and people are rarely all good or all bad. We tend to only see the good in the dead, which is not a terrible thing, what really is accomplished in focusing on the negative of that which can no longer be changed. We tend to only see the good in our side. If you identify as Republican your candidate can do no wrong, if you consider yourself a Democrat your side is perfect. It’s not different in church when we believe you have to be baptised, or it’s not really that important, you have to be dunked or you can just be sprinkled. It’s my way or the highway!

When we went to Washington DC one of the monuments we visited was Martin Luther King, Jr.’s. It was one of my favorites, I loved how he loomed large and was surrounded by quotes that inspire us still today. Yet I knew very little about Malcolm X who was also an influential civil rights leader, except he has been villainized by history.

I started by reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X which I will admit I had a tough time getting into it until Laurence Fishburne read it on audible.com and I felt like Malcolm X himself was telling me his story and I could not get enough of it. After reading his autobiography, I realized that in addition to my lack of knowledge of Malcolm X, I really don’t know that much about Martin Luther King, Jr aside for the quotes that have become so famous and easy to access on the internet. So my current book is Martin & Malcolm & America: A Dream or a Nightmare by James H. Cone. Cone parallels the making of these two men and how they came to such different conclusions.

I hope that this will whet your appetite to read Cone’s book!

Martin Luther King Jr.

  • Raised by a Southern Baptist minister
  • His father changed their names from Michael to Martin Luther after a trip to Germany in 1934
  • Integrationist – self-respect was tied to being an American
  • Attended white college and seminary and earned a doctorate degree – felt encouraged and supported by whites in charge of his education
  • 1948 started seminary
  • Studied Gandhi and believed change was possible through peaceful means
  • Became a spokesperson for the Civil Rights movement because of his charismatic, articulate speaking style and peaceful ideologies that appealed to blacks and whites alike
  • Assassinated April 4, 1968 by a white criminal known to associate with white supremacists

Malcolm X

  • Raised by a Baptist minister that was shot when he was 6
  • Nationalist – self- respect tied to Africa and blackness. His father was a nationalist and student of Marcus Garvey
  • Dropped out of school in 8th grade, bright promising student discouraged by white people who saw his potential as limited because of his color. Ended up educating himself while in prison
  • 1946 imprisoned for burglary
  • 1948 converted by the Nation of Islam
  • Changed his name from Malcolm Little to Malcolm X to recognize the loss of his African heritage
  • Became a spokesperson for the Nation of Islam because of his charismatic, articulate speaking style and ability to relate to the blacks in the Northern ghettos who felt left behind
  • Assassinated April 21, 1965 by a black member of the Nation of Islam because Malcolm denounced Elijah Muhammad the Nation of Islam prophet.

Both men were deeply impacted by their faith. Martin focused on how we were created by the same God as equal while Malcolm held that the white man was breed to do evil and the only way for the black man to be equal was to reestablish a pure African nation. Both men wanted blacks to better themselves and devotion to their respective faiths was how to do that. History may just show that Malcolm was more devote in his faith and moral living than Martin. It was however, “Malcolm’s fanatic commitment to the liberation of the black poor [that] alienated him not only from most whites and many black middle class, but also, as it turned out, from his own religious community…” (Cone 183). In 1964 Malcolm X denounced Elijah Muhammad and his Nation of Islam and was killed a year later. Cone speculates that this break with the Nation of Islam pulled Malcolm X into the political mainstream of the Civil Rights movement and that he and Martin may very well have ended up as powerful collaborators had their lives not been cut short.

While I don’t agree with Malcolm X’s religion, it made him want to better himself and he wanted better for his fellow black citizens. It was his faith that delivered him from drunkenness, drug addiction and crime that he claimed was destroying ‘Negro Christians’. It was his faith that lead him to be a husband and father to his children. It was his faith that lead him to speak out against the oppression of Black Americans. I admire that he spent his time in prison educating himself and reading to expand his world. He tells in his autobiography how we copied the entire dictionary to improve his penmanship and expand his vocabulary! Now that’s impressive!

So what does this all mean for you and me today? I think it’s this: How is your faith motivating you to better the planet? Why aren’t we more vocal about how our faith has changed us and speaking up for those who are still oppressed? Why are we still allowing the media to be the most powerful entity on earth? Why are we contributing to it’s power by our own hatefulness and condemnation on social media?

At the end both Martin and Malcolm had the courage to stand up and speak for equality and justice. Our voices are still needed today. How will your story end?

Best Seat in the House

I grew up in the 1970’s and 80’s when concerts were wild and cheap. My first concert was the Doobie Brothers – Michael McDonald – swoon! For my 16th birthday my sister Sydney and her husband Tom took me and a friend to see KC and Sunshine Band in concert at Six Flags. It was a great trip, we mooned truckers on the highway, rode every ride and sang like no tomorrow at the concert.

In the glory days of concerts there were no seats. The floor was open for all of us to cram in and fight to get up front, only the old creepy people sat up in the seats. Front row seats were a big arena thing where seats were all around the stage and you were expected to stay in or at least near your seat. Front row seats were highly coveted and often a pair was given away in a highly sought after radio contest.

But sometimes front row seats are not the best seats. In some venue’s front row seats restrict your view and you miss things. In the movie theater front row seats are the last to fill because they are usually just too close. Sometimes front row seats break your neck because you strain to see and hold that position the entire show. When I bought tickets to a comedy play at the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts when we were in DC, there was one seat front and center, but I chose another, because I highly suspected people in the audience would be asked to participate. I was not wrong! My seat was safely in the middle where I could enjoy the taunting of other patrons.

So where is the best seat? It’s not a one size fits all answer. Nosebleed seats can be great when you scraped together every penny to get to experience something you love. Sometimes its great just to be there! Nosebleed seats are the worst if you have a bad knee, a bad hip or bad back and have to climb all those stairs or if you have a fear of heights. I’ve never had 50 yard line seats, but hear they are great. My sister likes end zone seats at Cowboy’s games. I’ve had crummy seats and great binoculars. I’ve had crummy seats and great company. I’ve also had great seats with grouchy people that kind of ruined it.

It also matters whose is in the rows behind you when you have front row seats. A rowdy obnoxious crowd behind you can ruin front row seats propelling you closer to the action to try to see the show. Fans behind you can throw flowers or objects that make you fear for your life. Conversely a crowd behind you really into the show can suck you into the energy and take the show to new levels. Great company can make it all, good and bad, worth it. It all really comes down to perspective.

Life often pushes us to the front row of hard things. My dear friend has front row seats to her twenty-three year old daughter’s fight for life through a liver transplant. Another is living with the diagnosis of a spouse with Alzheimers. Another an only child burying their remaining parent. These are not good seats! We all face difficult trials, but having front row seats to life’s hardest moments is beyond tough. I’ve seen friends have front row seats as their children struggle with suicide and depression. I had a front row seat when they were uselessly doing CPR on my dead husband. I had front row seats with a smart kid that just could not read. I often have front row seats to the hard times of others. Front row seats can really really SUCK! And honestly for many of life’s trials there is not a good seat in the house.

So if I get to pick a seat, it will be next to someone who will help make it the best experience possible. Someone who will point me to Jesus, help me find the humor in the situation and the good in others. Someone who will be filled with hope and encouragement. Someone who will lament the negative and help me move on. These days, if I get to pick a seat, (especially at in service!!) it’s probably going to be in the back with the fun people! When I am assigned a seat, I hope that I will be a good seat companion and part of a great audience and let the show take me it where it leads and that is a better place!

Keep Seeking

To say that I am the opposite of a musical person is a gross understatement. My grandfather bought us a piano when I was very young, maybe even before I was born. He wanted his granddaughters to play the piano. My oldest sister took lessons for twelve years, the next took lessons for eight, I didn’t even make it a year. At recital time the piano teacher suggested (strongly) that my talents evidently lay elsewhere.

I had a similar experience with sewing. I vividly remember spending lots of time with my mom and sisters at Cloth World. I also remember the first time I got a store bought dress. My mother made all our clothes, she even made swim suits and Barbie clothes. She made my and Sydney’s wedding dresses. We shopped for my wedding dress, but when I couldn’t find what I wanted and described to my mom, she said, “I could make that.” And she did. My mother and both my sisters each made their own maternity clothes with the same sewing machine, I was never offered the machine (nor the piano for that matter), I had also failed sewing lessons.

I’m not sure how old I was, but I remember the summer day when mom decided she’d teach me to sew. We went to Cloth World. I picked out a pattern. I picked out the fabric. It was a cute white eyelet, simple, sleeveless top. I was super excited. I also remember mom telling me in frustration, “Go, I’ll make you whatever you want.” And she did, while I disappeared outside. My kids knew if they needed mending or awesome Halloween costumes, Grandma Nina could make miracles happen. She did draw the line at mending underwear that Paxton put in the mending pile once, she was unfazed by the fact he loved those underwear! Me and Paxton are good at finding people’s limits.

Sports came easily to our oldest son. If he lacked talent, he was always the biggest on the team and seemed to have boundless energy. He just loved being on a team. Our youngest could not have been more opposite. He grew up watching his brother play sports and when it came time for him to play, he was perfectly content on the sidelines. The last season he played soccer, I remember him saying to me in the car after a game, “How many more years are you going to make me do this?” Turns out, that was a good question and he never played again.

My oldest son has always wanted to be in law enforcement. My sister always wanted to be a school teacher. The rest of us struggle. I’m 58 years old and still don’t really know what I want to do when I grow up. I’m beginning to think I may never know.

It may be obvious what we’re not good at but knowing where we excel can be another story. It’s funny as I sit here typing and reflecting, I can remember with such vivid detail stories and circumstances of my failures, but when I stop and think of victories they elude me. I know I’m not a complete failure, but it’s the failures that stick with me. And I don’t think that’s the worst thing ever. It keeps me humble. It keeps me seeking. It keeps me learning. So I live as though I still have so much to learn and the wisdom of others rushes to the front of my mind far faster than my own.

Staff Devo 1/5/2021

Prepare your work outside, get everything ready for yourself in the field and after that build your house

Proverbs 24:27

I looked a lot over the break for something wonderful to use for bi-weekly staff devotions and came up dry. While I could continue the Bob Goff series as we have barely scratched the surface, I felt the need for something fresh. I’ve had this nagging feeling that I should just write, and while that is a daunting idea, I shall attempt.

I did have the opportunity to get away for a few days during the break. I went to visit my friends that live on a ranch near Albany, Texas. I need GPS to get there and even with GPS usually miss the turn, partly because the drive is very remote and I’m usually completely engrossed in an audio book. When I got in my car to come back to work after the break the map was still selected for my display. When I got in the car, because I had not selected a destination it read, “Ready to Navigate.” I glanced down as I turned onto FM 93 and it read, “Driving on Road.” I went to HEB to pick up bread for Helping Hands and in the parking lot behind the store it had idea where I was and it simply read, “Heading North.”

I enjoy a trip so much more when I have more information on the GPS. When it tells me which way to go and informs me of the next turn. When I know where I’m going, how many miles I have to travel and what time I will arrive. But regular, head to back to work on Monday is not like that. I have to show up “Ready to Navigate.” I need to know I’m “Driving on the Road”, and when I can no longer see the road at least I’ll know I’m heading in the right direction. We’ve got the course guides, the lesson plans, the long term and short term goals but what we really need is to show up “Ready to Navigate.” Ready to go where the Lord leads us and where the students need us.

So I decided to begin 2021 simply Ready to Navigate. I know that I am driving on the road and I know the destination is eternity and I have complete trust in the one who does know the way.

Here’s the bottom line

the Christian life, the church, our faith are not about us

they’re about Him–His plan, His kingdom, His glory.

Paul David Tripp

You’re not taking it with you!

You’ve heard the saying, “You can’t take it with you.”  I think it’s also important to focus on the up side of what we aren’t taking with us.  

I struggle with Christians who straight up get on my nerves!  Shouldn’t it be that as followers of Christ we can be above the animosity and annoyances?  Why are churches divided over music and worship styles?  Why can’t we interpret scripture differently?  Why are we so convicted of unconditional love yet are so unloving?  Why do Christians hurt each other?  I could go on and on!

There was one woman who particularly just drove me nuts.  We were on such different pages that I don’t even think we had the same book. On earth I’m pretty good at avoiding her, but do I really have to spend eternity with her?  Do we have to spend eternity with those who use no instruments in worship, the hymn people, the Jumping for Jesus band, the dunkers, the sprinklers?  It leads me, in my sinful nature, to want to determine who can go to Heaven and who cannot.  We treat eternity like it is the middle school clique where the mean girl decides who’s in and who’s out, and it can change on a whim.  We think we want to vote on who can enter Heaven because eternity with some people is straight up too long!

Judge not, that you be not judged. For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you. Why do you see the speck that is your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in you own eye?

Matthew 7:1-3

But, who goes to heaven is not up to me, and I’m soooo glad!!!  It’s just another thing that if I were in charge of I’d so screw it up.  In my frustration God revealed to me that it is my sinful nature that gets annoyed with others.  Intolerance is not from God, we created that.  Therefore, that thing that you hate about another is their sinful nature and they aren’t taking that to heaven with them.  Not to even mention that part of you that has the negative feelings in the first place is your sinful nature and you aren’t taking that with you!  I won’t look on others with judgement in heaven, that is my sinful nature.  We aren’t going to be annoyed by ourselves or others in heaven, all that is of this world.  

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

Romans 8:5-6

So living in light of eternity, I can be less annoyed because that annoying sinful nature, both yours and mine, aren’t stuck with us for eternity, they are a ‘this world problem’.  Now I am free to love the difficult because that which is hard to love is temporary.  I can also forgive what was once unforgivable, because the act that needs forgiveness is also  temporary.  That’s what it means to be free in Christ.  I look to Him and let Him deal with the mess, both mine and yours.  There is no sense in wasting my energy hating it.  Honestly, if given the choice, we wouldn’t choose to be annoying.  I need to give others a break and just be less annoyed.