Guilt! She pokes you as you write about your quaint, eccentric aunt. She grabs you as you wander from e-mail to Facebook to laundry instead of focusing on your work. She kicks you as you complain about your husband to a friend.
Have you noticed? Women seem riddled with guilt. And it’s hard to know if guilt is legitimate or simply a product of our imaginations. After all, should we really feel guilty about things over which we have no control?
The three of us share in a speaking ministry and we have learned a few things about losing guilt and finding joy through the years:
1. We are not perfect. Sooner or later we say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing or fail to do the right thing. That’s life. While we feel guilty when we flub up, we thank God that memory fades and the rhythm of life continues. If our actions have hurt someone, we apologize—to the other person and to God—then we joyfully move on, guilt free.
2. We have no control over some things, so it’s no use feeling guilty. For instance, our children may suffer injuries as they participate in sports. When that happens, we look for ways God may be teaching us and them life lessons and trust God will use the experience to the good of all involved.
3. We can’t do it all. Much as we want to solve others’ problems, achieve perfection on our jobs and keep our homes neat and clean as a plastic dollhouse, we can’t. Maybe someday when we’re old and gray (Ha. Shirley already is, and it hasn’t helped her.) . . . .
We shared our insights in our book, Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides. We would love to have you visit www.friendsoftheheart.us to learn more about us, order the book, invite us to speak.
May Romans 8:1 help you enjoy the abundant life in Christ: Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Kim Messinger, Janine Boyer and Shirley Brosius had a common bond of Christian service when Christ drew them together for their first small group meeting in January, 1998.
Since then they have drawn closer through life’s joys and struggles and found God to be sufficient for their every need. They call themselves “Friends of the Heart” because their passion is to help women open their hearts and find joy in Christ.
Kim and Janine supported Shirley in writing Sisterhood of Faith: 365 Life-Changing Stories About Women Who Made a Difference, which was released by Howard Publishing, a division of Simon & Schuster, in 2006. More recently the three women worked together to write another devotional book, Turning Guilt Trips into Joy Rides. They have spoken at women’s retreats and events in five states. All three women live in Millersburg, Pennsylvania.