Thursday, January 9, 2014

The "Good Friend" experiment

Okay, it wasn't really an experiment per se.... but it sounded way cooler than "I was thinking about this so I asked other people's opinions and gleaned info from them." See?

Either way, I've been slightly plagued by this "am I good friend, or not" thought process for a little while now. I've always seen myself as a bad friend, since I hardly EVER set up times to meet with other women, or try to do the little things that friends supposedly do. I don't spend any real amount of time on the phone talking out my problems, or listening to someone talk about theirs. I barely talk to my sister on the phone, so it's not like anyone should take this personally. When it comes to venting.. I usually vent at Jon (poor man) or if I need to vent about him (yeah right), I'll finally call my sister or my mom.

I also see my inability to invite people to my house as a bad friend trait... but I also feel like I'm saving EVERYONE the embarrassment of seeing how bad I am as house keeping. I'm not kidding, it's actually as bad as I think. Anyone who tries to tell me otherwise is clearly ignorant of the reality happening in my home. I haven't convinced myself this is now a "good friend" trait.. I just accept it as my one really horrific trait, and try to work on it.

Another bad one, is I dislike feeling pushed. It's happened a couple times that a person will joke with me like they'll make me do something I'm uncomfortable with (any number of reasons) and I'll shy away from the friendship. If this was you, I'm sorry.. I'm a freak. Few people can get away with this and still maintain closeness.. and they're all family.

So, those are my (really) bad traits.. but I like to think I have redeeming qualities. If you need something I can help with, I will try to meet that need. Need your car jumped? I'm your girl! Locked your keys in the car? I can try to pick that lock! Need a reference? Where do I sign?! (I actually forgot to mail the last one, but I TOTALLY filled it out) I'm quite loyal, and I am NOT a fan of drama. I love to talk, but I don't feel like I'm very good at conversation. I always walk away kicking myself for something you may not have even noticed. I'm generally kind, and feel like people should always be treated with God's love, but I'm also judgmental, even when I try not to be. Overall, I have more bad qualities than good.. and I am a MASSIVE work in progress.

In my little "experiment" I found a few overlapping qualities like loyalty, and listening, and time, and honesty. I know these are all the ultimate qualities, and can any one person have them all the time? To be truly honest, I'm afraid of the real time and energy a friendship would take. I've been through a lot with my best friend, and thinking of putting that much energy into a new relationship makes me tired. When it comes down to it, mommies don't HAVE the time to put into new relationships. They need them, but I think we need to find a way to have QUALITY time... but how? Loyalty should be easy enough, but it depends on how the other person views it. If someone can't be there for you.. are they disloyal, or just busy? Listening is also difficult, cause it needs to be two-way. I try my hardest to make sure I listen as much as I talk... but if you have a friend who sucks your energy with all negative talk... you'd be shy to listen to anyone else.

I like the responses, and I've concluded that God is the ONLY REAL good friend... but are we all trying? I figure I'm an okay friend... better for some, and not for others. I'm okay with that, cause I didn't take into account the plethora of different personalities. I love all my "peeps", even if I never get to see them, and in spite of myself I'd love to spend time with them... between my busy motherhood, and work, and my slight lean toward anti-social.. it just doesn't happen. I am a work in progress, and I imagine I will be till Christ calls me home... but aren't we all?

Thank you for all the responses.. they were interesting, and opened a whole new angle to the thought process. You're all amazing!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas: the beginning of the most amazing love story ever told.

Christmas is the only time God has been dependent on humans. Becoming a human baby, possibly the most helpless of his creations. He does not NEED our worship, though he requires it. He does not NEED us to prove his existence, though he chooses to work through people often. Worship, while for God, is also for us... We, as fickle humans, need the time to reflect and remember God's awesome power and love... not to mention all his promises.
In all he did, it was all about us. He could have been born to a king and ruled forever, but he chose to come as a humble, lowly baby; born to suffer like us, hurt like us, and ultimately die like us... for us.
God... in all his infinite knowledge and power, knowing we could do NOTHING to get back to him.. stepped out of the freedom of Eternity, and into the painful confines of time and decay. That's how we know God loves us, and that's how we truly can celebrate Christmas and Easter. From birth to death, it was ALL for us. Merry Christmas!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The Wrong Battle

Christians have been fighting a frustrating battle of tolerance and acceptance. Watching every "deadly sin" become acceptable while being ostracized for our stance. It became apparent to me that we have forgotten one very important thing. Possibly the MOST important thing. We will NEVER gain acceptance OR tolerance from this world. This world belongs to sin, and sin loves the dark. Darkness abhors the light, and when you have Jesus in your heart and life, the darkness will run from you; spitting vile all the way. In order to gain acceptance, you will be required to make compromises; they'll never satisfy; and then the world will throw them in your face, claiming you aren't true to your God, and you lack integrity. The fact is, the world CAN'T accept us. It's against the world's nature.. and to expect the same love and forgiveness from the world is ludicrous. Our TRUE acceptance doesn't come from other imperfect beings.. it comes from the one true God, and we've lost that truth somewhere. Satan has led us into his trap.. and we all fell for it. Using words like "love", "tolerance", and "peace"... all good words, but twisted, and perverted. Only Satan can do that, use scripture to condemn us rather than set us free?! The word of God is about REAL hope, REAL peace, and REAL salvation. The world can give us NONE of those. Instead of fighting the world for acceptance and peace, we SHOULD be fighting the spiritual battle FOR the world, to SHOW them peace. NOT by giving in on our convictions, but by truly loving the sinner, despite their sin. No one knows the real cost of sin better than a Christian. Honest Christians would NEVER claim to be better than anyone.. just a low down, rotten sinner like everyone else, who happened to reach out, and grab the Savior's hand. Live THAT way.. no more hating the world for being the world.. PRAY for the world, and be the light they haven't seen yet.

 John 15:18-23 18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[b] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father as well.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Obscure 10 yr milestone

This week has marked 10 years of victory for me. As most days, it came and went with little to no notice, except by me. I had braced myself for my morbid anniversary, aware that 10 years is quite a milestone and ready for a possible emotional day. Alas, it passed like every day in the last 9-9.5 years... uneventful. My mind was on that day, though. The day I was attacked and I became a victim and a statistic. That same day I also became a victor. I didn't shrink back in fear and shame. I pulled back the violent shroud from this event and did all I could to ensure my attacker was caught and incarcerated. While I had healing to do, and the scar may fade a bit, it's ever present in my mind. I take a little comfort in knowing that I don't look or act the part of the victim, but that takes work still. I give all the credit of my victory to God. He was with me, comforting my soul while my body was victimized. In that way, I was able to keep my "self" in check. My soul, my spirit, was safe... my body, merely a shell that will parish in the end. Thank you, Jesus, for the last 10 years and all the changes. Healing, marriage to Jon, Adin, Kera, Miya... so MANY blessings. Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Father's Day 2011

Every Father's Day I have wanted to write something about my Dad.
I've never known a more loving, affectionate man. My father is
the epitome of human fatherhood! At least in my eyes.

It's easy to have these thoughts and convictions when you have a
father who does his best to consider your future when disciplining
you in your youth. Or when your heart is breaking, he lets you get
it out, and then comforts you. All these were cementing my view of my
father, but nothing like when I became an adult.

When most other fathers would just let their adult children learn from
their biggest mistakes, my Dad drove 8 hours to make sure I KNEW it was wrong
and to appeal to my heart to change. When that change was coming to fruition,
I bet only my dad would cry and blame it on allergies.

When I got into a hard situation, one I could not help, my dad would make that
8 hour trip again to hold me. Even though he probably didn't want too, my dad
let me leave his safe nest again. When I had to return again, he was there with
a truck and a trailer. My dad let me live in his house for 6 months, and then
walked me down the aisle to give me to my best friend.

Now my most awesome father is a Grandfather, and he's down right disgusting.
I thought he was loving and affectionate with me, but now he gushes. I can tell
that he loves me TONS cause his love is exponential toward his grandchildren.
While I could end this as a loving ode to my Dad, everyone should know that
my Dad is the one who also lead me to my relationship with Jesus... twice. He
has always been the example I drew from when trying to understand the love and
discipline of God. My Dad is far from perfect, and he's perfectly human, but I
can't imagine a better Dad.
Happy Father's Day!

~Hayley (Bell) Broughton

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Christmas 2010 Letter

Sweet friends and family! I found that there were many people who should have gotten a letter, and didn't. So, instead of scouring for addresses and more cards and more stamps... I'm going to post it here. :) Hope you like it!

Christmas 2010

My dearest friends and family… I had a letter all written up and ready to print. Then I read it, and read it again. It was VERY depressing. Even though this year was especially difficult, I should be able to find something joyful and charming to share with you… right?! Right. So, instead of running you all through my year of gloom and doom, I’ll share the bright spots.

Love. My family has enjoyed much love this year. Jon and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary, and in a month, our 7th. I was privileged to meet my little nephew Benjamin this year. Now THAT is love. He’s amazing, and very funny! My family also had the opportunity to welcome a new uncle when my Aunt married a wonderful man! Love abundant!

Joy. Joy has been abundant in the midst of sorrow in our home. While we mourned the loss of a friend and a family member, we found joy in each other’s company and humor. Birthdays were celebrated with cake and presents and smiles. We especially enjoyed watching 3 little girls lick pink icing off a cake until only the cake remained uneaten. That cake was thrown away. Watching my girls grow, and become their own little people has been amazing! Joy unequaled!

Hope. My hope is in my God, hope that He can take my painful year, and give me the good memories, while teaching me something through the bad memories. I was never promised an easy life, just that I wouldn’t have to go it alone. I have hope for 2011, that we’ll have more good than bad, and more happy than sad. When the bad and sad do come, because they will, I know that God can handle it. Now if only I could learn to get out of the way. Hope eternal!

I hope my letter has found you and your families in good health, and happy spirits. I also pray that you can look for the Love, the Joy and the Hope in all the seasons of life, not only the Christmas season. May Jesus be your reason for this season!

With all our love,
Jon, Hayley
Adin, Kera, and Miya
Broughton

Friday, November 5, 2010

Quick... before it starts!

Hello friends! I decided I would throw a quick blog up before life gets really crazy again. You know... holidays!

In the past month or two, I've had more "life experience" than I would ever like in such a short time frame! We've celebrated 3 birthdays, said goodbye to Great Grandma Luree, and also put our puppy, Peanut, down. Life and death, all in the same couple months. Either way, I don't really sense a slow down in the pace right now. Thanksgiving is stealthily creeping up on us, and I'm sure it'll catch me off guard, even though I can see it coming. After Thanksgiving we'll have to scrape a Christmas pile together... even if it's small, we always feel like winners. :)

While I'm throwing food around my kitchen and wishing for a cleaning fairy, the girls are growing faster than ever. Talking more and more like girls instead of babies. Adin is learning cursive, and Kera will be reading before the end of Preschool. Miya knows how to spell her name, and is learning to write it. I just know I'm going to sit down in January and start looking for my girls, only to find BIG girls in their place. I'll have to remember to keep them close so they don't grow without my notice!

During the holidays, remember the root reason for these celebrations. LOVE. Love brought people together to worship God for his provision in a new land. Love brought Jesus from his throne to save us all from the doom of our sin. Hugs and Kisses to all our friends and family, from The Broughton Home!

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