Tuesday, September 27, 2011

All In

My precious friend Amanda is one of those people who is "all in". Do you know what I mean? She is wholeheartedly a friend, wife, mother, Christian... whatever she does, she does it with all her heart. This can sometimes bring her grief, I think, because she realizes not everyone is who she thinks they are (been there, done that! I so identify with her!), but more often I think it blesses her. I know it blesses those who know her and are encouraged to see how she allows the Lord to guide her and her family. God tells us we are to love Him with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind. What better reminder is there, that we are to love Him and live "all in"?

So today as we were texting, I shared something with her that I often say to my girls, Cailin, in particular.

"You are the best You I know".

As soon as I said it, I realized it is one of those things I say so frequently, and yet don't always hear myself.
God created me to be who I am, always striving to be more like Him, sure, but inherently imperfect. He knew the struggles I would have, and He also provided me with the grace to be free of them in Him.

He wants me to be who I am, not a poor imitation of friends who seem to be so perfect and everything I desire. He wants me to be the best me I can be. It's enough. I don't need to hesitate or hold back, I can be all in, because I am the only one who can be.

So as I was trying to encourage a friend, I was blessed in return. Funny how God works like that.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Waiting For Easy

I'm discovering that with parenting, it actually does get harder as they grow older. Sure, it's easier in the reduced physical demands; I'm no longer carrying a toddler or chasing a mischievous preschooler. But in the mental arena it is exhausting. I am racing to a finish line I don't want to cross, and as I protest the passage of time, I am expected to run this race with wisdom and the intent to win.

I constantly wonder if I'm doing the right thing, disciplining correctly or too strictly (or lenient, depending on the day). Am I preparing them to be good mothers and wives, to love God and to think of others? Or am I creating narcissistic over achievers, who will find their value in accomplishment or approval?

Am I showing them the way, or making them want anything but that which I teach? When do I intervene and when do I let them make their own way? What is right and what is fair? Does fair matter, or should I teach them to accept injustice. Aaagh... it is a never ending conundrum of decisions, and I feel perched on a tight rope of indecision.

Then, when I feel myself teetering, a friend prays and lets me know she understands. My Mom listens and validates my feelings. My Dad gives me a break from carpool and shows up with laughing, happy girls.

It is then that I hear God's still, quiet voice, reminding me that He is still here. The same God who carried me through colic and a host of other childhood maladies, is the same One who will get me through this. Not just endruing but prospering in His amazing will. His ways are good, He blessed me with the gift of mothering, and His grace is sufficient for each day and stage.