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Crumbs of Wisdom - By Lori Murphy

Crumbs of Wisdom - By Lori Murphy

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Published by Lori
Tall and stately, with his robes brushing the floor, a wizard stands with his hands upraised. With a downward swoop of his arms and a flick of his wand, a sumptuous feast appears. In another universe, a starship captain steps up to a machine in the wall, a replicator, and quietly says, “Earl Grey, hot” and it materializes.
Tall and stately, with his robes brushing the floor, a wizard stands with his hands upraised. With a downward swoop of his arms and a flick of his wand, a sumptuous feast appears. In another universe, a starship captain steps up to a machine in the wall, a replicator, and quietly says, “Earl Grey, hot” and it materializes.

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Published by: Lori on Mar 04, 2011
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02/01/2013

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Crumbs of Wisdom
By Lori Murphy, circa 2006 
Tall and stately, with his robes brushing the floor, a wizard stands with his handsupraised. With a downward swoop of his arms and a flick of his wand, a sumptuous feastappears. In another universe, a starship captain steps up to a machine in the wall, areplicato
r, and quietly says, “Earl Grey, hot” and it materializes. A weeping girl in a
ragged dress, kneels before a fireplace and with a pop, her fairy godmother arrives. Thefairy godmother magically changes the rags into a ball gown, a pumpkin into a coach and
mice into horses. Wouldn’t it be nice if some of that magic came into your life? I knowI’d be delighted if someone stepped into my life and made my problems and hard work 
disappear with a wave of their wand or a marvelous piece of technology.Unfortunately wizards and fairy godmothers are make-believe. Replicators are apossibility but for now they are as mythical as wizards and fairies. There is something,some quality inside everyone that wants to take the easy way out. We want to win thelottery. We want marriage to make us feel complete. We want to be so talented that wecould make it into the National Basketball League without the practice and physicaldiscipline.When I graduated from high school and went to college, I was expecting amiraculous transformation from shy and unhappy to happy and un-
shy. I didn’t make anyplans to achieve this transformation. I didn’t try to do things differently. I hoped for it. I
wished for it. I
prayed for it. But I didn’t try to
do
anything to make it happen and it didn’t
happen. Are you wishing, hoping, or praying that something in or about your life will
change? It’s not going to happen un
til you do something to make it happen. Yes, Goddoes answer prayer, but He expects His people to step out and act on faith that it will
happen. “Noah, build Me an ark.” “Moses, go back to Egypt.” “Go and spread the goodnews.” How often does God tell us to pray and then sit around on our hands and wait
for
whatever we’ve prayed about to happen?
What do you need to do? Maybe I can step in and help you out with some advice.
I’ve gone from that shy, unhappy kid to an outgoing, friendly
(and most important), contentadult.
I’ve been married now to the same
guy for over twenty-two years. Both of us arestrong-willed, stubborn people, so there have been some rough moments on the journey,
but the journey continues. We’ve got two great kids, who are
turning into decent adultsand I get along well with my parents.
As long as I’m giving out some advice, I thought I’d throw in some, “how
-
to’s.”
Several years ago one of my relatives went out of town for two weeks, leaving her threedaughters, a 17-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 12-year-old at home. When these youngladies ran out of clean clothes, they called one of their aunts and begged her to come overand do their laundry. They had never done
their own laundry before and didn’t know howto do it. Maybe you are in that position too. You’ve grown up and move
d out into the
 
2world and although you are comfortable giving PowerPoint presentations, makingspreadsheets and surfing the web, you
weren’t taught how to do the laundry or change a flat
tire or make mashed potatoes. Let me give you a helping hand.I t
hought I’d write my advice in alphabetical order
becau
se I’m a logical sort of 
person. If your only interest is discovering what it means to
“separate the darks from thewhites” when it comes to doing laundry
, by all means skip ahead to that section of thebook. The index will tell you where to look.
Otherwise, you’ll find all sorts of 
usefulcrumbs of wisdom from A-Z. (Warning: the loaf these crumbs came from is leavened with
humor. If you don’t have any, you won’t enjoy this book.)
AcceptingAdvice Gracefully
One of the hardest things to do, I think, is to swallow our pride and take advicefrom others. You already know this all too well if you are married. Our first thought is:
When you have your stuff together, then you can tell me about mine.
Or to put it
biblically,
How wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull the mote out of thine eye; and behold, a
beam is in thine own eye?”
- Matthew 7:4 (King James)However, as a human being, have you ever noticed that it is a whole lot easier tosee the flaws (motes) in others, than it is to see them in oneself? This is especially easy todo if you are married or otherwise around someone on a constant basis. The things thatwere kind of cute when you were dating suddenly become unbearable annoyances. Youknow, like their manner of dress, burping (or worse) in public, and leaving the toilet seatup. Soon i
t’s hard to take advice from people that we know, because we know the persongiving the advice and it’s hard to separate the advice from the
person.
It’s easier to takeadvice from someone that we’ve paid to listen to our problems, like psychologists orcounselors. We don’t know what things they’ve got hidden in their closets so we’re able to
listen to their advice. We listen to the advice. Actually applying the advice is a differentmatter. First century Christians had the same problem. Listen to the admonishment fromJames:
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only. . .
- James 1:22 (KJ)
It’s one thing to r
ecognize that something needs to be changed. Actually doing it is
hard work. Remember, you didn’t get the way you are overnight
- it happened one doughnutat a time (figuratively or literally speaking). Now is the time to start changing your life forthe better.
Don’t give
up on yourself if the changes do
n’t
start appearing in the first coupleof days, weeks, months, or years. I
t took a while to get where you’
re at, and it will take awhile to get where you
’d
rather be. Will this book tell you something new and brilliant?Give you a solution to all your problems? No. As King Solomon said,
“T
here is nothingnew under the sun.
However, perhaps this book will be
the straw that broke the camel’s
back. Maybe you have heard something enough times that you are ready to act on it-
 
3miracles do happen. Reading this book may give you some motivation to change, I hope.
I guess that I didn’t answer the question
of how to accept advice gracefully.
Here’
s the answer: Keep an open mind. The other person may have a point (even if theirlife is screwed up), so be polite about it. The person giving the advice probably cares about
you and doesn’t want you to screw
up. Either that
or they’re insanely jealous of you,
mean-spirited, and want you to fail.
If that’s the case, w
hy are you hanging around them?
Accentuate the Positive
When I was complaining to my father about my husband, my father said, “
Roll withthe punches,
”(I’m talking about figurative “punches” here, not the fist to face kind).
Myfather then went on to list all th
e negative things my husband wasn’t doing, like: gambling,
going out drinking with the boys; having an affair. Can you do that for the people/personin your life? Can you do that for yourself? Is there something positive that you like inanother person, or in yourself? Can you put your focus on that rather than on what you
don’t like? You know, count your blessings?
Is the glass half empty or is it half full? Both answers are correct but one answerviews it negatively and the other positively. The great thing is that you get to choose howyou view it. My mother is seventy-four
years old and she won’t wear shirts that leave her
neck exposed, because her neck is
ugly.
So if you were under the illusion that passingtime would ease your mind, wake up. What needs to change is the way you think aboutthings.
How do you go about that? Stop playing the tape recorder in your mind that’s
repeating the mantra of everything
wrong with your life (or another’s). Replace
said mantrawith something in your life that is positive (there has to be something redeemable aboutyou). It may be something microscopic, but you have to start somewhere. For an example
of how to do this let’s use my mother and her “ugly” neck. When my mother looks in the
mirror she sees a neck with a hideous, gargantuan birthmark on the bottom half. What the
outside observer sees is a neck that is somewhat red on the bottom half. It’s not even a
dark, port-wine-colored birthmark, just
slightly red, like a rug rash. It’s certainly notgargantuan, so why does she focus on it and feel that she has to hide it? I don’t know whatthe root cause is, but one way to change her feelings about it is to “accentuate the positive
.
She needs to start seeing the things that aren’t wrong with her neck’s appearance. It’sslender, it’s there in the first place (she doesn’t have the “no
-
neck” look), it doesn’t haveany unsightly goiters or moles growing out of it, and she doesn’t have any “turkey wattles
.
So the question is: do you want a more contented life? Or do you want to end up seventy-four years old and still caring that your neck is ugly?
Anger
Anger in itself, is not a bad thing. It’s what you do
while under its influencethat can be a bad thing. Words spoken in anger can never be retracted (let alone punches
and slaps). Are you sure you want to go down that road? You may feel better by “letting

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