Cool, Calm, & Collected

James 1:19-20 says, “Know this, my beloved brothers; let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.”

It’s something I personally have been working on. Watching what I say and thinking before I say something I’ll regret, especially in the heat of the moment. I’m not always slow to anger. I believe I have gotten better over the years. I no longer destroy entire rooms in my fury or tantrums, but I still have much to continue working on.

I’d love to blame it on my genetics, but blaming my problems on other people is not a solution or an excuse. Also, my brother certainly defies the genetic argument. I like to think he learned everything from me, his cool big sis, but no.

He is the calm when storm rages on. He brings peace in situations. He finds solutions during moments of panic. He thinks so much faster than everyone else that it is kind of annoying. He has always been a big picture type of guy and does not get hung up on the details. He likes knowing how things work and his head is full of big plans. Sounds like a guy you want in your corner, right?

I know I’m blessed with a witty, intelligent, and calm brother. When I need answers, solutions, calming down, another perspective, or just a joke to make my problems seem so much less than the grand scheme of things, he is the one I need. My dad also shares many of these attributes, but Masden has a whole new level of calm on all of us. He isn’t easily annoyed or rattled when bad things happen. We joke that all these little things will bottle up and blow one day, but Masden really isn’t one to hold grudges or let things build up.

I get annoyed with spam calls and sometimes answer with an attitude. I let text messages and emails ruin my entire days sometimes. I will analyze over and over a person’s words and tone. Something tiny and small could send me scrunching up my nose and texting my husband about any inconvenience, whom also is pretty good-natured and tempered similar to my brother.

Masden James is very similar to his namesake, being slow to anger. His listening skills and being slow to speak may not be up to par, mostly because his mind is so fast he is already onto the next thing, but he definitely is slow to anger. Overall, he is a very positive young man. Now when he was an angsty teenager…..

Just kidding. I’ve embarrassed him enough in his lifetime. Who he is now is what encourages and challenges me to be a better person. His example encourages me not to sweat or worry about things out of my control. He isn’t scared of much either, and his can-do attitude leads me not to fear. He lives life unproblematic and can smooth over most sticky situations. He focuses on moving forward versus ruminating on the one instance that caused a problem. He is kind, creative, and he just graduated college.

I’ll admit, I’ve been nostalgic lately thinking about his journey, and how much he has overcome and grown over the years. I’ve gotten teary-eyed over looking through pictures of the past two decades. I’m a proud big sister and always will be. He deserves recognition even though his humble spirit hates the spotlight. He prefers moving behind the scenes, much like our mother.

You could accuse me of bias and think he really isn’t like this, but what prompted me to write was something a co-worker said. Masden wasted a whole day on something that was someone else’s mess up, and one would think he’d be mad or even a little annoyed he spent his entire day going to pick up something that wasn’t even ready. He put in a lot of effort just to be let down at the end of a day he could have been working or studying for his exams, but no. He brushed it off his shoulders and moved on for the week. If he’s mad or disappointed, you will hardly ever see it. It’s remarkable, and my family certainly aren’t the only ones who have noticed it.

People at work, church, and friends have commented on his resilience and attitude over the past few years. He doesn’t let much get him down, and even if he does take a hit, he doesn’t stay down for long. He’s far from perfect, but on this attribute he points others to Jesus and I am grateful for the reminder.

Congratulations, Masden and class of 2023! You did it!

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