Monday, April 30, 2012

The Right Thing

Have you ever struggled with doing the right thing?  Sure you have, you are human, right?  I sit here tonight tapping away at my keyboard pondering the results of doing, saying, and honoring the right things.  In fact, the right thing for me, and truth be told, my family too, may not always be the best thing for another, especially if that destroys a longtime relationship.  Perhaps that is going a bit too far, too fast.  So here, let me break it down. 

Life is full of situations.  In fact, each and everyday starts with one.  You have the option to wake up or sleep in, put a smile on or a frown, be kind or be a jerk.  I know, you are probably thinking something like, "wait, these are choices, not situations."  I, in return, would capitulate and agree, BUT have you ever thought about the result of that choice?  That result is the situation.  So, I go back to my original question, have you ever struggled with doing the right thing?

Do you put your family first or someone else's?  Do you do something for the safety of one you love, regardless of the outcome for the other, or because of the outcome for the other?  There are things in life that aren't as black and white as they seem.  Things that make you wade, deeply, in shades of gray.  These are things that no matter how much you long to share the sordid details with others you know, for the sake of peace, you have to keep it confined to those who must know, and to those alone.  Yes, it is a tough choice. 

However, in light of those things that are deep and murky, there are those that are so seemingly easy, but they are, in essence, just as difficult.  For instance, does one eat the extra peace of cake, drink the last glass of wine, stay up that extra hour reading a book, or run another errand even when knowingly it will make one late for a previously scheduled engagement with a friend.  Sure, on the other side of the fence those seem like no brainers, but what are they to the one addicted to food or drink, the one who loses them self in a good book because their reality is so bad the book removes them from it, or the one who suffers badly from poor judgement and equally poor time management skills?

While it may seem to be a no brainer to do the right thing when it comes to taking care of one of your own, why is doing the right thing hard when it comes to yourself?  I wish I had all the answers.  In fact, I think it is due to not having them at all that keeps me typing furiously on this keyboard in the hopes of getting my ever-thinking mind free of the options and thoughts that create the situations in the first place.  Then, only then, when I get to the end, and I feel I have lost perhaps the only reader this one blog may have, I remember, that my problem isn't a new one.  It is as ancient as the days. 

How?  Because James tells us in the 17th verse of the 4th chapter that, "If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them."  So, I ask, if it is that easy to know the consequences, why not do the right thing(s)?  Oh, that is the hard part.  What is good and pure and right is not always easy, and what is easy is not always good and pure and right.  So I leave you, dear readers, with one thought: aim for what is good and pure and right; seek the truth in all things and remember that each action has an equal reaction.  So, go forth, chose your own adventure, and may it be the right one.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Youer Than You

In the past couple of weeks I have read many wonderful blogs.  Blogs by moms who aren't afraid to admit they're not perfect, moms who are "perfect" and like to share that with their readers, ladies who are trying to share quippits of their lives, ladies who feel their lives really aren't all that - yet they seem so grand anyhow, ladies who can write so well I long for their next blog, and those random blogs that make me wonder about the diversity in the world.  Then I have my blog.  Is it a true reflection of me?

I think the hardest thing in life is seeing yourself through God's eyes.  Here's why.  There will always be someone who is better.  Better at computers, sewing, singing, dancing, cooking, driving, decorating, mommying, well, honestly, everything; except for ONE MAJOR thing.  There is no one on Earth that will ever be better at being you.  Nope!  In fact, you own that one lock, stock, and barrel.  So why do we focus on all the things others are better at?  Why is it easier to say something like, "man I wish I could work 10 hours a day, pick up the kids, do homework, run to soccer practice, cook dinner, bake three dozen cookies, clean the kitchen, read the kids a bedtime story, and put a smile on my husband's face," like so and so does.  When in all truthfulness, that so and so probably just had a good day.  I mean, she probably drove 10 miles over the speed limit, did homework in the mini van on the way to soccer practice, warmed up left overs from a couple of days ago, popped frozen cookie dough balls into the oven, shoved everything into the dish washer and pulled out a towel and brushed the crumbs into her hands and dumped them in the sink, read Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and told her hubby he could watch whatever he wanted on TV because she was going to bed! 

That's the thing about looking at other people.  Your perception of their reality is always going to be a bit off.  I have some amazing friends.  These are ladies who I could only wish to have an ounce of their talent, or a personality as endearing, a smile as breathtaking, an ear as attentive, a heart as warm.  But I know in my heart they have their struggles too.  Such as kids who talk back and throw temper tantrums in all the wrong places, cars that don't start, wardrobe malfunctions, not to mention days where they could only have wished the alarm clock never went off.  I know that my talents aren't their talents and my likes aren't necessarily their likes.  In fact, the best thing about it all is that we are each our own person and that is what we are best at and for that, I love them. 

I suppose where I am going with this is this: God made me to be me and he made you to be you.  So, the next time you are having one of those days, and if you are truly honest with yourself, yes, you DO actually have those days, where you can't see past those things that others are great at, know that there is no one, absolutely no one, that is better at being you than you are.

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.”
Dr. Seuss

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Running on Empty

There are days when I feel I could reduce my life to a few song lyrics.  Or rather, a feeling brings a song to mind.  Today I felt like I was going in a hundred different directions at once.  9+ hour work days, a home to take care of, school to go to, kids to raise, life to live, ah...the proverbial American Dream.  I have it all and yet I run after more, but the end is always just one more hour away.  Do I go into work early to leave earlier for more time with the kids?  Do I go to work at a reasonable time and get off later in the afternoon so that I can get enough sleep?  Do I skip my homework and class for family time?  Do I stay focused on school so I can get the degree I need to keep my job?  Do I sit back and let it all come at me while going a hundred miles an hour just watching the road pass under my wheels?  Even taking it all one step at a time I feel I am running behind. 

My devotional for today talked about the dreams that we have.  No, not the ones that come when sleeping, but those dreams we have for life, in life. "The first thing God does to build your faith is give you a dream. When God wants to work in your life, he always gives you a dream — about yourself, about what he wants you to do, about how he’s going to use your life to impact the world." I read this and thought that's awesome! I'm actually living the American dream!  I may be running in circles and have so much to be thankful for, but is that dream, MY dream?  Is that dream HIS dream?  What is the DREAM?  At this point I'm even more confused. Then my devotional goes on to tell me, "How do you know when a dream is from God or when it’s just something you’ve thought up yourself? The Bible tells us that God “by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of — infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes” (Ephesians 3:20 LB).  In other words, if a dream comes from God, it will be so big in your life that you can’t do it on your own. If you could do it on your own, you wouldn’t need faith. And if you don’t have faith, you’re not pleasing God, because the Bible says whatever is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23).  God starts to build your faith by giving you a dream. He may be speaking to you now, but you just don’t recognize it for what it is. That dream you have, the idea or concept you’ve been thinking about doing that would be of real benefit to other people — where do you think that idea came from?"

So then I think about how far behind I am, in my house work, my school work, my work work, and it hits me; I may be running behind on an empty tank tackling this insanely large dream, but I'm actually heading somewhere.  This somewhere that will take me to a concrete place.  This somewhere that has a reward for the effort taken to get there.  I may not win a Mother of the Year Award, but I am a mommy of 3 which arecounting on me to build them up and form them, hey that's an awesome dream! (Definitely something I couldn't do with out a lot of prayer and guidance.)  I may not win Employee of the Month, but I leave work each day proud of the work I've done and I work each day to the glory of the Lord.  I may not be the class Valedictorian, but I'm doing OK; I have a 3.37 GPA.  That has to count for something, right?  I may not have a mansion in Heaven awaiting me when I get there to stand before the throne, but I know I'm going to get there. Most importantly I have faith, though seemingly the size of a mustard seed, that says dreams don't necessarily have to be grand to be big.

So, even though I'm tired, exhausted, empty, and frustrated, I am also thankful for a God that gives me the ability to dream and loves me enough to make them bigger than I could have ever imagined. 

Oh, and in case you are in the mood for a great song, click here!