Driving Lessons

As you know if you’ve been reading this blog, I have been painting a couple bedrooms so that Tank can have Ben’s old room and vice-versa. The rooms are done now and almost completely set up. Even Ben’s new room. You should know that I am accident prone. Or, at least if that is an actual thing, I am. During the course of my work on the bedrooms one day, I grabbed a knife to cut something and as I started I literally thought, “Oh, Lace. This decision looks like it could end badly.” Well, let’s just say, the cut is almost healed. But the very next day, I grabbed a screwdriver and tried to push something back into place and was using it in a way that the screwdriver could come back at my hand and cause some damage if it didn’t work out. Again, I thought, “Oh, Lace. This decision looks like it could end badly.” It’s healing well, also, even though it was worse than the first. Both times, I just had to shake my head. I am a slow learner sometimes. Thank God for bandaids, peroxide and numbing triple antibiotic ointment. Afterward, I joked with Tank, “Buddy, when the little voice inside you tells you that what you are about to do looks like it could end badly, you’d be wise to just listen to the voice.” At what point does one arrive at the conclusion that a decision about to be made is a bad one? What happens if you do the thing anyway and it ends badly? And is there a point of no return? 

I have been reading a book called “The 21 Irrefutable Laws Of Leadership” by John Maxwell. I have amazing mentors (business, life, and spiritual mentors) in my NewYou CBD business. I refer to them as “The Dynamic Dockery Duo” and they host a team call every Saturday morning at 8:00 and then a leadership call immediately follows that as we study this book. This week, we read and then discussed the Law of Navigation. It speaks to direction. More specifically, charting a course before you set out on your journey with the idea that anyone can steer a ship but it takes a true leader to plot the course. As I read this week, I also saw something on the internet that spoke to this in a different way. It was a Zig Ziglar quote. It read, “When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.” I think it is safe to say that I made a decision about what needed done with each of the “challenges” I faced earlier in the week that ended up wounding me but the direction I was taking in each of those to resolve the issue was not good. One of them will probably leave a scar to remind me of my knuckle-headedness. 

I have made some poor decisions in my life. I think we can probably all say that. But when did we know it was a bad decision? And did it change our direction? Sometimes, we are far enough into a decision before we realize it is not a good decision that we honestly can’t stop what has happened or is happening and we just have to live with the results of that decision. Other times, we see it’s a bad decision but don’t know what to do about it to correct our course. And still many times, as my mentor, Ken Dockery who I am paraphrasing here, would say we make a bad decision and then spend the rest of our lives defending that bad decision instead of making a new decision to get out from under it. We need to be willing to admit that our bad decision is taking us down the wrong path and we are failing and then realize that people will respect us more for that than they will if we stay stuck in that decision and make it the proverbial hill we are willing to die on. We know sometimes where we are headed but make decisions along the way that make our path there a little harder. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t stay the course. Again, paraphrasing Ken, we just need to make a different decision.

Nothing in life probably shows us more about poor decision making than parenthood. We watch our children go from toddlers, to children, to teenagers. Each of those stages is riddled with decisions that we have to watch our children make and learn from. I remember watching my children in the toddler stage literally “think” about doing something. It was so obvious to me they were in deep thought about the act they were contemplating and then, as discipline entered the arena, they either proceeded and were punished or they walked it back. I remember a specific time with Ben, my oldest, when he was maybe three and he decided he was going to remove the movies that were off limits from their shelves. I was never the parent who put all my knick-knacks up nor did I let them play with things they shouldn’t. And, yes, our kids received the occasional spanking. They both knew what was theirs and what wasn’t. Ben picked up a movie and dropped it on the floor. I told him “no” and placed it back on the shelf. He looked at me as his spine straightened, he crinkled up his nose and pursed his lips and he thought long and hard about what had just happened. He did it again. I replaced it. He did it again and I replaced it and slapped his hand. Not really hard, just enough that he understood his action would have consequences. This went on for several long minutes. I wasn’t giving in; neither was he. He finally decided that his now red hand hurt and he wanted no more of this. He made a decision to walk away and play with toys he knew he could have. He was (and still is) slightly stubborn. Haha. Wonder where he gets that? Another time, when Franklin was seven or eight, he was outside riding his bike. I told him he could not ride his bike past our block because supper was nearly ready and his dad was on his way home. I told him when he saw his dad he needed to come inside so we could eat. When Wade pulled up and came inside he said that he had seen Franklin down the street at a house that was about three blocks away. Franklin had seen his dad and followed him home because he knew he had been told to do that. I told Wade what I had told Franklin about not leaving our block and we knew he would be punished when he got home. He came in and his dad said that mom told him he couldn’t leave the block. He was going to be punished for disobeying me. Before he spanked him, he asked, “Son, what were you thinking?” Franklin’s answer was simply, “I was thinking I could get away with it?” Uh-huh. What do you do with that? *wink, wink* Wade just said, “Yeah? And how’d that work out for ya?”

One thing we have always tried to do with our boys was to make sure they knew that no decision made by them would erase or nullify our love for them. But we have also always told them that one bad decision could potentially ruin the rest of their lives. The other part of that is knowing that just because we have made a bad decision, it doesn’t necessarily define us. It doesn’t make us a bad person. What defines us is how we handle the fall out and aftermath of a bad decision. And as parents, we HAVE to know that our kids are going to make poor decisions. That is just who they are and it is instrumental in their learning processes. Does that mean we are going to be happy or act as though that decision didn’t get made or that there aren’t consequences? No. Is there a way back? Sure. Always. Good people do bad things and act poorly from time to time. We are imperfect humans. But forgiveness is ours if we just take it. Sometimes that road to forgiveness is paved with apologies and humility above and beyond anything we have ever experienced. Inevitably, that road will be a little bumpy and will very likely rearrange our cargo of certainty. But it is always paved with redemption.  

#loveyourjourney #youreworthit #bettermewithNewYouCBD #Endo30 #itsuptoyou

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