The Up Side Of Perceived Collateral Damage

The house looks a bit like a tornado struck.

Heather and her five kids are here for a few days while the husband and son-in-law are out of town.

It’s the sleepover that doesn’t end. Most expectations have been trashed for a bit because this isn’t anyone’s normal.

It’s way more fun.

It’s an extended field trip to wherever suits our fancy. We’ve been to the humane society to pick out the perfect pet for five unnamed-1rambunctious kids. (Jeremy is scared spitless thinking this may actually happen. It’s how I got all our dogs–while John was out of town.) Disney Springs is on the docket for later in the week. Parks. Library. Places Heather and I don’t go on a normal week because there is no time or energy.

There’s still no energy, but we’re taking the time.

Ryken, at 1, moves faster than expected. He’s quite the explorer, and I’m convinced Everest is in his future. He’s mastered our stairs, quickly flipping his squatty body to slide downstairs on his tummy.

Isley moves to the beat of her own drummer. At 5, bling is her friend. She’s got new shoes and a purse with sparkle and glitter. Our house now reflects the same. She knows no strangers unnamed-1and makes friends with everyone she meets. An ambassador. Or political princess.

Teagan has more words than I do, which is no small feat. He talks constantly and loudly. And tells the best stories and jokes, made even more enjoyable because he laughs at them before he finishes the punchline. He’s got a future in entertainment.

Sydney is the gentle and determined one. She’s always willing to patiently help with the younger ones and reads voraciously. Her knowledge of animals always amazes me. She’s like Bindy Irwin with her enjoyment of critters. Future veterinarian.

Ethan is the oldest and has more ideas in a day than I do in a month. His ability to outthink me is humbling. His rationale is often spot on. A lawyer in the making.

It’s easy for me to fall into routine with life. When new opportunities arise to switch it up, it changes how I do life. Giving grace and space for others to be unnamedthemselves, even if that grace invades my space, is a process that ebbs and flows with my attitude.

My attitude can be a forming tornado.

The Bible’s take is clearly focused on how I need to treat others.

“Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves.”   Philippians 2:3

It’s so easy to think about me and what I need. Want. Considering the needs of others means choosing to put my needs aside. Choosing to care for someone else and their needs.

I’m learning that being humble isn’t a martyr attitude that says I’m nothing. It’s a choice to see and value someone else for who they really are. Choosing to defer to them. Not worrying that I’m not being recognized.

Not comfortable or automatic. Not easy or convenient. But I want to choose to make a difference in my world by truly valuing others. As God does.

Which will bring the tornadoes.



14 responses to “The Up Side Of Perceived Collateral Damage”

  1. This one touched my funny bone! Thanks, Dayle! You let me in on some wonderful character, by way of idiosyncrasies. Beautifully done! 🙂


    1. Thanks, Kev. Character is idiosyncrasies–defined by our foolish attempts to live the gospel well. I’m enjoying seeing that reality in my grandkids–and knowing that it’s watching God watch me. Appreciate the encouragement.


  2. Dayle, the BIBLE’S TAKE on HOW I NEED to treat others, is ENOUGH for me, also! I need to CHOOSE to VALUE someone else for WHO they really are! [Forget the bling and tornadoes.] Blessings on the dogs, as well!


    1. Don’t think the dogs will happen–but my granddaughter is still hoping. Valuing others is hard–especially God’s way. But it’s great to be able to walk along with friends like you who get that. And we encourage each other. Love you, Lo.


  3. I LOVE this. (Do I say that every time you post!?!). You amaze me and I love you! I love that you still have little ones to cherish…nobody does it better! I always hear you voice and your heart in every word!


    1. Oh, Mar, your words are like a balm to my heart. I can’t tell you enough how much it encourages me that you like what I write. I appreciate you.


  4. I can’t help but think how we pray God’s blessing on our kids, secretly hoping they will be smarter, more physically able, financially secure, etc. more than us. It sounds as if your grandkids cover all the basis! What a delight! Now get some rest when they leave!!!


    1. They cover the bases of attitude, that’s for sure. I don’t know why it’s easier seeing the hand of God at work in a life easier in my grandkids than it was in my kids. I felt so much like I had to help Him because I was concerned He might not get it right–my way. How foolish could I have been–and still am! Thanks for your encouragement.


  5. Justin Richards Avatar
    Justin Richards

    So much depth in that verse. Thank you


    1. Justin, I’m shocked you’ve read some of my stuff. Thanks for saying something so encouraging–you have no idea how much that means, my friend.


  6. I loved the vision you see in the grandkids and thinking about the impact they could make in the world…that they are making in the world…and in your world. Continue having fun and leave the clean up to John 😜


    1. I love the idea of leaving John the junk. But that wouldn’t be fair either. It’s fun. I can do the crazy for a time. Then my crazy gets bizarre, and Nana’s done. Thanks for your encouragement. They will make an impact for Jesus–I’m confident.


  7. alice fredricks Avatar
    alice fredricks

    Dayle, I don’t experience you as selfish but as very “other person” centered! But we all have imperfect hearts and I suppose you do have moments of selfishness! 🙂 Love your desire to please the Lord by “putting others first! It shows!!!


    1. Thanks, Allie. It’s when I’m invaded and have no place to retreat to that I feel a little trapped–and not very gracious. You, however, never cease to encourage my heart.


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