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Week 1- tease Week 2- perseverance Week 3- expectation Week 4- irk


As we look forward to this a new year, we may sense that we are being teased by the promise of new events and new activities. Are we just teasing ourselves by making New Year’s resolutions? Do past events taunt us in expectations of future goals? We need to approach this year with an anticipation of better goals and better efforts to accomplish good things. Don’t let past failures harass you with what this year will bring. Don’t kid yourself, focus on success!


Are you kidding me, how do you define this word? To kid is one sense of how tease is defined. As a verb, it has five meanings and two as a noun. Most of us define tease as in an act of annoying someone or by persistent mocking. However, the number one definition was associated with the making of clothing articles. It meant the separating the fibers of flax or wool to make garments. It was most highly associated with the painstaking effort of extracting or obtaining something. For example, “it took hours to tease out the meaning of the story.” Kid you will, but be persistent in reaching your goals!


Interestingly, the noun form of our word gives us the source of being teased. It comes from one who teases. Normally this will produce feelings of unpleasantness in the one who is the object of the action. Being the one teased is not a good feeling. As we look at meanings other than those aimed at people, we get a sense of something being undone as in wool fibers or flax that is teased to separate it into usable fibers. Sometimes we need to be teased in order to help us see our shortcomings, although the experience is not a pleasant one. Let’s not produce negative emotions, but positive actions based upon painstaking effort!


Girls, can I ask you a question? Have you ever been a tease? Oftentimes in the courtship between a man and a woman, there will be times when the woman flirts or gets her partner excited. This activity injects a bit of fun as in playful fooling around. Just remember that such actions, if carried to an extreme can produce a negative impact. There are many things in life that can tease or tantalize us. We must look at them and decide what the impact will be. We can choose how it will affect us. Just don’t go overboard. It is OK to be the flirt or coquette!


Bland humdrum relationships are at best boring if not short lived. The spice in a relationship comes when teasing, properly tucked in at various times, is a part of the spice between two people. If it becomes overdone can be harassment. Therefore timing and amount are very important. Balance of these ingredients is important and usually less is better than more. Beware incessant teasing. A little spice makes for good taste!

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Last week’s word was a little on the light-hearted side. This week’s word will require that we give patient attention and effort to grasp its meaning. Perseverance gives us the sense of being diligent, insistent, having tenacity and patience. Also contained in the meaning of this word is the sense of struggle or strife in that it requires time and thought. Perseverance requires that we have an attitude of setting a goal and achieving it. Since we are at the beginning of a new year, it might be a good idea if we set our mind to persevere through coming events. Don’t be fainthearted, just overcome!


When we think of someone who exhibits patient effort and an attitude of persistence, we have a great example of perseverance. President Lincoln was one who demonstrated a great attitude of such determination. Perseverance has three definitions as a noun: the act of persevering, the quality of one who perseveres and is persistent. Also, there is a religious definition for this word; in Calvinism, it is the continuance in grace of people elected to eternal salvation. Core motions behind this word are endurance and tenacity. People who exhibit this quality are most often very stable. So don’t be a wimp, be stable and show some zeal for diligent action!


When we look at the signs of perseverance, there are two things that we will see. One is the act of perseverance and two is the attitude of perseverance. Now how do we know the difference between them? When we see continuance or a tendency to pursue despite obstacles, this is the act. The persevering attitude of such a person will demonstrate resolve and resolution. This person has a tendency to be patient, diligent and durable. Let’s not be impatient, be insistent!


Do you want to know how to succeed? Set your goal, be persistent and persevere. That is the key to how many people find success. The impact that perseverance has for us is often found in how willing we are to overcome hardship, distress and many challenges. Those who possess the quality of persevering will most often be the ones who achieve high standards and the benefits of success. Don’t be a slacker, be diligent and achieve success with perseverance!


In today’s world, how much do we persevere in our relationships? We have become very soft in dealing with relationship issues in our society today. It has become too easy to give up, get out or get a divorce to end a relationship. Because of this tendency, we have lost an essential ingredient in what it takes for us to persist when a relationship gets a little sticky. Relationships require work. Work requires that we labor, struggle and toil to make a success in associations with others; this may not be comfortable. No human is perfect, but many times we expect our relationships to be flawless. That is not reality, so take off the rose colored glasses and get real!

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When we look at the year ahead of us, we should have great expectations. Why not? If we have an open mind and a learner’s mentality, we could see things happen that we thought were not possible. With expectation, we can anticipate that certain things will happen. If our mind is set on negative activities and actions, then we can expect incorrect results or negative actions. When our expectations are unreasonable within the scope of reality, then we will see disappointment and not fulfillment. Don’t put on a Grinch face, but have positive expectations!


As a noun, expectation has five slightly different meanings. We usually think and use expectation in the same sense as we do anticipation as they are closely related. The most common usage is the state of something being expected. It is that something to which we look forward to as in “they have every expectation of success.” This word also gives us the prospect of advancement or prosperity as a future occurrence. Negative thoughts bring bad luck, so think positive and expect a bright future!


Some signs of expectation are obvious and some are not. A person who has a dream and a vision for the future is expecting them to be fulfilled. However, expectation also requires action. Whatever you see as the future, must be worked on and energy expended to make it materialize. Having expectations does not guarantee fulfillment unless you are willing to spend time and effort to see them become reality. People of action will normally see some kind of success come from their expectations. Without visions the people perish is a biblical proverb pregnant with meaning. How does it work? No action, no success. Know action, know success and fulfilled expectations!


A state of expectation is always good. When we expect good things to happen, it prepares us to see the best in life. A negative expectation brings out the less desirable impact of events. Keep expecting good to happen even in bad times and you will find that good can come even in the worst of times. To find the good, you must have a positive expectation so that you can find it when it comes. A positive state of anticipation prepares one to seize opportunities when they present themselves. Don’t mope, look for the sunshine!


What do you anticipate in your relationship? We can expect some things about a relationship, but it should not exceed reality. When our expectations go beyond what is reasonable, we are inviting trouble. A relationship involves two people each with different goals, ambitions and abilities. If expectations are out of line with what both are looking for in a relationship, it is headed for trouble. Goals, ambitions and abilities should be shared and agreed upon in advance. This brings a positive approach to the meaning of the relationship. Failure to do this means the association of the parties involved face troubling decisions. Don’t make unreasonable demands; just work as a team!

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Have you ever been hacked off? Were you irked by the fact that you did not get done all of the things you wanted to this weekend? Yes, irked, exasperated and hacked off are all in the same basket. There are times when things displease us. We often look to means of resisting things that irk us. We are annoyed by them because they upset our routine. Our focus should be on how to lessen the impact of such objects that cause us discomfort. The trick is not to be chaffed by what irks us, but to resolve the issues!


Our word this week – irk – is a transitive verb that means to make weary, irritated or bored. It can also mean annoying. A transitive verb form will require an object as in the following examples: Drivers were irked by the higher gas prices, where drivers are the object of the verb irked; or as in – it irks me to have to clean up after him, where me is the object of the verb irks. Maybe the lesson about this word is to not be the object of irk. Don’t irk your friend, just avoid being the object that irks!

Irk.013013. Wednesday

How do we see signs of being irked? Let us cruise some synonyms and see if we can get a mental picture of this word. Typically, aggravate, annoy, bother, irritate and ruffle will help us fix an idea of what being irked looks like. Words like vex, grate and exasperate also give us that mind’s eye image of what the condition of being irked will bring to us. Irk has an unpleasant feel to it that leaves us feeling uncomfortable. Just remember, when you do something that irks someone, it can come back with burning vengeance!


It irks me to have someone call and make false accusations. That is what happened this morning. It irritates me. The foregoing is an example of an event that has the potential to irk. This is how we can know the impact of being irked. When something causes irritation or annoyance that is an impact that will affect you. We now must be careful to not let the incident get out of hand. Being irked and losing all control or reason is not a positive impact. Step back, give it some distance and set up a plan. Being aggravated to where you lose all control is not a good place to be. Don’t let it burn you up, just keep your cool and let it play out in a reasonable manner!


You woke up this morning feeling great! You thought about your day and the wonderful relationships with which you have been blessed. You are truly one of the fortunate few if this describes you. Most relationships are not totally free of little things that bug you. Yes, it is those little bugs that will irk you ever now and again. Many of us have those little quirks that annoy and occasionally chafe others. Since none of us are perfect, we can expect our relationships to have a quirk or two that will irk us. If we realize that no human exists without some kind of fault or weakness, it helps to reduce the quirks that irk!

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