Remember how I said that I would be open and honest? Well, it’s time for another confession – last night I was texting with my mom and my two sisters (we have a texting thread, where we basically chat all day long) and somehow Christmas shopping came up. My sister K was talking about her day and how she had some Christmas shopping done. So, of course, I responded with “Christmas shopping done??!! What??!!!! I haven’t even started, for Z or anyone! Speaking of, are we doing a cousin gift exchange?” My sister said “We are only doing parents and nephews/nieces unless we do another elephant gift exchange, but I won’t buy anything for that anyway”. (For my family’s elephant gift exchange, the only rule is that you can’t buy the gift, you have to find something from your house – the point is either a really great gift for free or a TERRIBLE gift 🙂 ). Two things to point out at this time – She never said “all” her Christmas shopping was done. She only insinuated that she had already bought/picked out her boys’ Christmas presents and her two nieces on her husband’s side – she didn’t even say for sure she already got the gifts! Second, she never says she’s buying for ALL the nieces and nephews. BUT what did I do? I jumped the gun and sent the above texts. Why? Well, because I was thinking only of ME. How could my sister buy for all the kids? That would look terrible on ME. I mean, I can’t buy for all the kids, why would SHE do that to ME?
Now, let’s pause. What does it really matter if she was able to bless all the kids and buy them all something? Honestly? What would that matter? Why should that hurt my pride? Ah, right – my PRIDE. There it is. There is absolutely no reason I should be upset that my sister and her husband would buy Christmas presents for all the nieces and nephews. If they’re able to do so, then more power to them! My siblings and I are all raising children who know the value of a dollar and know to be grateful for everything they have and receive. So my nieces and nephews would not think less of me for not buying them something when Aunt K and Uncle M bought them something. The only person who would be affected, negatively, would be ME. Little old selfish me. I was convicted, hard. I knew that I was being silly and that it really didn’t matter if she bought them all gifts. She wasn’t requiring me to buy gifts for all the kids.
Now, back to the texts:
K: Yeah, I can’t afford it either, but we only have two on M’s side and two for the gift exchange on our side.
Me: (Clearly not reading what she just wrote when she said they were only exchanging TWO on our side, hence stating they were doing the cousin gift exchange and not purchasing gifts for all the kids) But then we all look ridiculous when you guys buy gifts for all the nieces and nephews and we can’t reciprocate. Ok, we don’t look that way, but I feel that way 🙁
K: We don’t buy gifts for everyone. We only do the gift exchange. 2007 is the last time we bought for “all” nieces and nephews and we only had three to buy for!
Me: Ahh…he hehe…So what you’re saying is that I misunderstood? Imagine that… 😉
K: Haha! Maybe…. 😉
Me: Alrighty then…Next time I shall just say, as we were taught in church, “K, may I check an assumption?” and then we could’ve avoided this whole conversation…Ha!
Ok – let’s stop there and talk about what I just said – “May I check an assumption” – want to know the worst part? We just covered that in church. How, instead of ASSUMING you know something/someone, you instead go right to them and ask “May I check an assumption?” Then you are giving them the chance to confirm you are right, wrong, or slightly off base. AFTER you have this conversation with the person, and have all the information, you can move forward with the knowledge that what you’re thinking is, in fact, true! If you’re like me (which I am not going to assume you are, because I have a SUPER active imagination), then you have conversations with yourself about all the possible ways someone could be talking about you, or how a conversation with them could go, or what they think about you. I end up getting frustrated about a situation before it’s even a situation! It’s really silly and I know this. I overreact way too often. WAY too often. Like last night.
But I have a sweet sister who just laughs off my stupidity and probably rolls her eyes, screenshots our conversations (forwarding them on to all her friends to laugh at me and talk about how ridiculous I am and posting them to FB, blocking me from the post so I don’t know she is doing it…and then I am the talk of the town for all the wrong reasons…see? See how active my imagination is? Oh, I could go on and on…lol!)..just kidding! I know she just laughed at me, as did I, and went about her evening. She extended grace and said “that’s Mandy”. Poor K – she’s known me for 30 years, she knows how I am. 🙂 Not that it excuses my behavior!
I’ll continue to work on it – Holy Spirit, again today – help me with my assumptions and active imagination. Make sure I use it for good and not things that will bring me down!
Oh, and where were my mom and youngest sister in all these texts? They probably grabbed a bowl of popcorn and sat back to watch the show between K and I. 🙂