In todays society we see new people almost everyday. We see new friend suggestions on our social media sites. We drive by people on our way to work /school and yet out of those I don’t know 10 people we see we don’t stop and say, “Hello”. We simply just move on with our day to day routine. Now let me ask you, why is that? Why are we hesitate to welcome new people into our life? I am going to take a wild guess and say fear of rejection. Maybe not for all but for most of us including myself, I am constantly in question of meeting new people because I am afraid of getting brushed to the side. One of my many flaws I’m unable to conquer.. so I thought… Two weeks ago I finished a book called Uninvited, living loved when you feel less than, left out and lonely within one week! Many of you aren’t aware but I’ve never been fond of reading. (Sorry mom I pretty much lied on all my reading logs growing up.) These days the most reading I do is scrolling down my social media feed or insurance breakdowns when I am working. So for me to pick up this book and finish it in less than 5 days is definitely a job well done and huge pat on the back. In light of that information I wanted to share with y’all what I learned about feeling rejected. My story starts way back when I was a little girl. I was my mom and dads first little one. Their relationship don’t work out shortly after I was born so they separated. My mother got married and had another little one and my father met someone else and had three little ones. Growing up I stayed mostly with my mother but occasionally I would go and spend the weekend with my father. The huge difference between each parents was the way each one made me feel. With my mother I always felt at home, like being with her is were I belonged. With my father I felt like I had to compete for his time and with everything else in his life. Being a child raised to compete I quickly learned rejection. By the time I was 14 I told my mother how left out by his lack of love and connection for me. Thats when I first understood rejection. Its been some time since I last spoke to my father but the feeling has never really gone away. As I read Uninvited I came to realize a few things;

1. I’ve dwelled on this feeling of rejection for over 9 years and it has only affected my potential to create new relationships.

2. I am continuing to think rejection is my fault and it’s not.

3. That with Jesus, I’m forever safe. I’m forever accepted. I’m forever held. Completely loved and always invited in.

Not only did this book help me understand my past rejections it has helped me pull through this current rejection. Lysa states “The voices of condemnation, shame, and rejection can come at you, but they don’t have to reside in you.” She couldn’t be more right. Just because someone has their own opinion about you doesn’t make it the truth. Just because someone doesn’t like you doesn’t mean the next person won’t want to become best friends with you. We don’t need to let the rejection consume our thoughts because then it will ultimately control us. And at that point the devil wins. But we all know the truth.. “The lord is our shepherd, we lack nothing. He makes us lie down in green pastures, he leads us beside quiet waters, he refreshes our soul. He guides us along the right path for his names’ sake. Even though we walk through the darker valley we will fear no evil, for he is with us.” We can always change our bad habits and next time you start to feel rejected think about how much God loves you and how when we put our faith in him nothing can defeat us.

Elf James

December is my all time favorite month of the year. We get to celebrate Jesus birthday, learn who’s been a naughty or nice, and spend time with our loved ones. Holidays are all about traditions and this year daddysmith and I wanted to create a new one with our boys. We have decided to participate doing Elf on the Shelf. For those who don’t know, Elf on the Shelf is an Elf who comes down from the North Pole, observes who’s being naughty or nice and reports back to Santa every night. There are two main rules when it comes to the Elf on the Shelf. First, the elf is to be moved to a different spot in your house every night while your children are asleep so you can create the illusion that every night, the elf is traveling back to the North Pole to report back to Santa about how well your kids behaved that day. Second, you need to make sure your children never touch the elf, or else he’ll lose his “magic.” Sounds easy enough right? Right! Our Elf arrived to the Smith household on December 1 with a book and popcorn to celebrate his arrival. Both smithboys were so excited and very anxious for daddysmith to read the book he brought. img_5814

At the end of the book, it asked us to name our Elf. While smithboy#1 was naming all crazy things and smithboy#2 just repeating what his brother was saying I decided to name the Elf James. For those who know my family, James is my grandfathers name so I thought it was fitting. Day two was upon us and when the boys woke up they found Elf James was back from visiting Santa.

He was hiding in our Christmas tree! When smithboy#1 found him he jumped and said “woah mom he scared me, I hope he told Santa Kashy and I were good.” The day went by and night time was here. The boys were being too rambunctious at bed time. They decided they weren’t going to listen to daddysmith and I.. and were going to play all night. So when the next morning hit and they went looking for Elf James they found him on top of their pirate tent in their room.

Smithboy#1 said he thinks Elf James moved to his tent last night because him and his brother weren’t listening and he wanted them to know he told Santa. I couldn’t help but smile and say yes buddy you’re absolutely right, laughed and walked away. Y’all my son figured out exactly what I was thinking when I put the elf on the tent. Three days into December and Elf James has not only taught my oldest a lesson but me included. He has taught me to never underestimated the mind of a five year old.