I’ve been thinking about some of the moms that I’ve met over the last few years in my travels with Saving Moses. In some ways they are 100% the same as us & in some ways they’re 100% different than us. They’re 100% the same in their love & passion for their kids – maybe even more pure in their love for their kids. What makes them different than us is that they don’t have have all of the “stuff” that we have. This has started me thinking about who I am if you strip away all of my education, stuff & sophisticated living. These are some questions worth consideration:
*Am I a nice person without all of the accessories that cushion my life?
*do I want to help people regardless of what I get in return?
*am I sincere & authentic?
*am I growing & letting God strengthen the weakspots that I avoid?
*does my education & sophistication enable me to help people more or do I use these only to my own advantage?
Just a few things running around in my head today 🙂
One of my daughter’s friends had a basketball game last night & we we able to go, watch & cheer. These kinds of games bring back lots of different memories for me because I used to coach both jr & sr high school girls basketball. I thoroughly enjoyed coaching, but was also too competitive & I lived in the shortcomings of being too competitive (rash words, impatience, self-centered & more). Last night, I found myself again being vocal & probably too competitive.
Do you ever have those areas in your life where you tend to struggle??? Here are some thoughts about how to deal with these areas:
avoidance – for years I never coached because I didn’t have the opportunity; now I think I didn’t coach because God knew that this weak spot can be a downfall for me
celebrate progress – over the last year, I’ve been around coaching a bit more. My celebration is that even though I’m not where I need to be, at least I’m not as bad as I was 🙂
accountability – last night I sat around some friends who would tell me to tone it down & I’m grateful for their help!
honesty – a problem that is ignored or downplayed won’t get better
be thankful – I’m grateful to God for helping me to grow, mature & become more like Christ through the power & presence of the Holy Spirit
In America, we are very intense about our right to the freedom of speech. We have no appreciation for anyone who would try to censure our opinion or limit our expression. And in some ways, I really appreciate this right & I wholly appreciate the sacrifices that have been made to retain this privilege.
On the other hand, just because we have the right to freedom of speech doesn’t mean that we should say anything & everything we want. Proverbs says that even a fool appears smart when they keep their mouth closed. There is tremendous wisdom in knowing when to say something, what to say & to whom something should be said. These choices can be very productive if we make the decision to be constructive with our opinions & freedom of speech & not merely selfish. In the end, the right to freedom of speech with a selfish intent is often more destructive than constructive. Here’s a simple idea that I’m trying to work into my daily living: I want to compliment & encourage more than I criticize & judge. Want to join me? 🙂
I’ve been thinking about love & its various expressions as they relate to different relationships (kids, parents, mates, friends, etc). In my thinking, I’ve also been considering not only what love is, but also what love is not & here are some take aways I’ve been considering. Love is not:
selfish – hence my tweet from a few days ago about love making decisions in the best interests of the recipient & not merely the giver of love
inconsistent – love is stable & as such, doesn’t merely function in the realm of feelings
hateful, malicious, evil, cruel or sadistic
apathetic – this word comes from the greek meaning to lack feeling or passion (a-pathy). Perhaps indifference is more deadly than guns, bombs & knives
egocentric or prideful – maybe these would be synonyms with selfish
These are some interesting observations, but what is more important than observation is application. I know that I want to love well & authentically, but I get frustrated with myself because I fail. It is exactly these frustrations, among other things, that cause me to turn to God because God is love. I turn to God to live in a deeper relationship with Him so that He can love others more authentically through me.
We often associate growing pains with childhood – when our joints were sore as kids or teenagers for some unknown reason. We might have been growing too fast for our bodies to adjust without some aches & pains. I think this is also true as an adult but in different ways.
Let me give you a few examples:
being less selfish is often a painful decision, but it is one that frequently reflects a level of growth & maturity as an adult
being more selective about when & how we communicate shows that we are making progress from “blurting out” whatever could be flying through our mind; this is a noble goal, but it can require painful discipline to shut our mouth when we have something really “zingy” to say
doing what’s helpful, constructive or even sacrificial when we don’t want to; I surrender “getting my way” for something I consider to be more important – for me this relates to letting Jesus use my life as a platform to express His will (hopefully, with minimal distortion)
getting good at something I’m not good at; there are lots of schools of thought on this idea: stay in your sweet spot, do what you’re good at, maximize your talents & minimize your liabilities, etc. But in my life so far, I find that I don’t get the luxury to do only what I’m good at – I’m required to LOTS of different things, many of which I’m not good at. So here’s my choice: do the things I’m bad at with ongoing sloppiness, using the excuse that I’m just not designed that way OR do the things I’m bad at with the intent that I’m going to try to get better at them each time I have to do these things.
Maturity requires growth & growing can be painful. But I’d hate to become increasingly older & remain as immature as I am now 🙂