Thursday, February 2, 2012

Praying for pet peeves

That is a tongue twister!  Can you say praying for pet peeves three times fast?

Ok, you might be thinking I have lost my mind.  Why would we ever pray for pet peeves?  But just hear me out.  I happen to have a lot of pet peeves.  I cannot stand irritating noises.  Little ticks and beeps and clicks can drive me up a wall.  There is not a single clock in our house that ticks.  Every clock has to be digital or there is not any batteries in the ticking ones.  My human pet peeves make up a long list.  My number one pet peeve would have to be smacking.  Smacking gum, smacking food, smacking candy... please can't you eat and chew more quietly.

I have a "sister" that can vouch for this.  The story is kind of famous in our family.  My sweet little innocent five year old cousin was simply smacking on star-burst candy one day.  I gave her warnings.  I threatened.  I begged her to stop.  When she wouldn't quit, my thirteen year old selfish self, proceeded to chew a piece of the candy up and put it in her hair.  Yes I know, that is horrible.  You don't have to tell me how evil that was.  I was having a very mean spirited moment, but she has forgiven me.  Nonetheless, I should not have done such a horrible act.  We laugh about it now, but the way we react to pet peeves can speak volumes.

What are some of your pet peeves and how do you react to them?  How do we react to rudeness?  How do we act in bad traffic situations?  How do we react when someone is really getting on our last nerve?

I listened to a Focus on the Family broadcast over Christmas break about strong willed children by Cynthia Tobias.  She told the story of a mom that started praying for her strong-willed teenage son every time he did something that bothered her.  Things turned around and their relationship improved greatly.  Sadly, her son died soon after the reconciliation.  Cynthia told how that mother was so grateful for the turn in their relationship, and they were able to have six good months together.  The story broke my heart.  But it also started to stir something inside of me.  Everything improved because of her prayers.

Another pet peeve of mine is neatness.  I am a neat freak and self -proclaimed OCD.  My youngest daughter, as you might have read yesterday, loves to pull clothes from drawers and empty baskets all over the house.  She just dumps all the contents and simply walks away.  This drives me crazy to say the least.  I am constantly picking up.  After listening to the broadcast, I felt the urge to start praying every time I have to pick up after the girls instead of fuming.  Some days I really wanted to scream to the top of my lungs after I had picked up the crayons and art supplies for the seventh time.

I now pray every time a basket is dumped onto the floor.  I pray for my girls current needs, their safety, and their future.  The list is endless on things we can pray for our children.  Just a quick prayer for the offender.  I also ask God to help me handle my irritation for the pet peeve.  This praying for the girls instead of yelling at them has been such a relief.  I am not saying I am perfect and have not gotten frustrated over some pet peeves, but the number of angry reactions are down.

But what about others?  Can we use this same concept on others in our lives?  Can we pray for those people that do things that get on our nerves?  Should we pray for the person that cuts us off, is extremely rude to us at the check-out line, or even the person that smacks their food while they eat next to us at a restaurant?

Today's Verse
"Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."  Romans 12:21

Short verse, but oh such a powerful verse.  Let's "overcome evil with good".  That is something that could really get under Satan's skin.  Instead of letting pet peeves get under our skin, it would be so much better to get under the devil's.  Every time someone you love or even someone you do not know at all, does something that irritates you, put a smile on your face and lift up a simple prayer.  I do not want to ever be overcome with evil like I let my thirteen year old self do all those years ago.  I do not want to yell at my kids when they are messy.  I do not want to be rude back to the person who just offended me.  I want to pray for them and even myself.  Pray for their salvation, for their day to turn around and pray that my light and love for God can still shine through and not my irritation.  Let's pray for those that spark pet peeves in us and maybe someone will pray for me if I were to ever do anything irritating  : )   (which I know is a ton of things)

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