Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Glue. — Where’s the Elmer’s? And who left the freakin’ top off again?!

on December 28, 2012
English: Elmer's office glue stick, 25g.

English: Elmer’s office glue stick, 25g. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Franz Kafka said, “we ought to read only books that bite and sting us.” What’s the last thing you read that bit and stung you?

I really don’t enjoy banter. Debates make me nervous. Confrontation is not my thing.

Recently, I have been involved in a … well, I’m not sure really what to call it. It’s not an argument. It is not a debate. It is not friendly banter. Quite the opposite, really.

I have been the recipient of someone else’s views of … well, me. This person has felt compelled for a myriad of reasons apparently to let me know exactly how they feel about me.

Needless to say, they are not nominating me for “Person of the Year.”

It is not pretty.

The first note “How You Disappoint Me, Part 1” came a little out of the blue. I read it on my phone while I was with Y at the dentist. I couldn’t concentrate on it much at the time, because, well, I’m assuming you have never been with Y at the dentist. Also not pretty. I remember the words stinging a bit and causing me to catch my breath a little.

I read it again a little later. I was bothered for certain. But after a little while, I decided that this all can’t be just about me. This person must be going through something and I was just the target or symptom of their frustration.

That particular night, I was attending my little book club, reading “Unglued–Making Wise Choices in the Midst of Raw Emotions” by Lisa Terkeurst. Perfect timing. I had some raw emotions and was able to make a wise decision. I responded in such a kind way and was super proud of myself. I acknowledged this person’s note and their comments, with as much kindness as I could muster, made no excuses and said I would move on.

On a side note, unrelated to this story, really, but still funny–my X and Y love that I am reading this book.  They call it “the lady with her head in her purse.” We have had lots of laughs and conversations about why the lady has her head in her purse? Is she throwing up?! Is she lost? Is she trying to hide?

Back to the story:

But the truth is. I held on to the words. I didn’t let them go. The words did bite and sting. And recently, it all bubbled back up again, as inevitably things that are not resolved, do. Sadly, this time I made a decision in the midst of that raw emotion. I shared with this person that I could still feel the bite…this prompted the person to send a list of “Things You Do Wrong, Part 2.”

Oy. This one stung.  And I have to admit on my journey of imperfect progress, I responded more to raw emotion and drafted a note back. The non-response was starting to be interpreted as agreement. Actually, if I’m being honest here, which I really try to be, I’m still a little proud of the note. I think it was the perfect blend of not being a doormat, addressing the issues with a logical argument, and maybe adding just a little bit of my own stinger.  Really not my style at all.

And then I did something I almost never do.






Yes. You guessed it. A ‘This is Your Life’: “I Will Remind You of Every Time You Came Up Short In My Eyes, Part 3” followed quickly by a vicious “Have A Nice Life, Part 4”

I don’t do this. I don’t enjoy this. Some people do. To some, arguing and bantering is a form of recreation. It’s a challenge. It’s fun for them.

I am not one of these people.  I’m going back to my book and applying a little salve of some kind to these stings, because they still burn.

From Unglued:

“God gave us emotions to experience life, not destroy it.”

  • Know with confidence how to resolve conflict in your important relationships.
  • Find peace in your most difficult relationships as you learn to be honest but kind when offended.
  • Identify what type of reactor you are and how to significantly improve your communication.
  • Respond with no regrets by managing your tendencies to stuff or explode.
  • Gain a deep sense of calm by responding to situations out of your control without acting out of control.

Things to work on.  And I have decided I will write here. Not there.  And look for some more glue to keep me together a bit more.

I wish my kiddos didn’t always leave the tops off of the Elmer’s glue.

I really could have used a fresh bottle last week.


9 responses to “Glue. — Where’s the Elmer’s? And who left the freakin’ top off again?!

  1. Love the way you ended this with the kids and glue.

  2. I love it when God uses our kids and their great stuff to teach us lessons…sorry to hear about your “conflict”. 😦

    • MommyVerbs says:

      Thanks for the note. This really is therapy on the cheap sometimes. Blogging is good for the soul. As soon as I wrote this, I started to feel some peace about the whole thing.

      I still do wish they would put the caps on the glue sticks…. What a waste in craft supplies. 😉

  3. Sometimes the most loving response we can have (for ourselves and the offender) is to set some healthy boundaries. When someone wants you to know something about yourself that may need to be changed – out of love – they don’t stomp all over your boundary to do it – again & again & again (& was there another again in there?). Sometimes the best resolution to a conflict is to refuse to participate – permanently. (Maybe that lady’s looking down in her purse to find the list of all she’s done right!) blessings & peace on you today! -j

    • MommyVerbs says:

      I love that! That is exactly what she must be looking for!!! What a powerful lesson this has been…when I start to feel like I’m making a list of all things someone has done wrong, I’m going to flip it and see if I can make a list of all things that same someone has done right…. And choose to celebrate that one instead!!!

  4. Jan says:

    Love your “song” 🙂

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