Falling Forward…

Falling makes us wiser. Falling makes us stronger. It makes us more aware of what needs to happen differently the next time. It makes us more conscious of the change that must come, most of the time within, for us to succeed.

Yet, too often, we will resist falling. We run away from failures, and we hide from imperfections and mistakes. We believe everything must be picture perfect the first time around. We believe if there are any mistakes involved in our first try, then we are destined for a lifetime of misery, a lifetime of failure. 

Maybe I’m just talking to myself here. Maybe it’s just me who struggles at times with wanting everything to be pristine perfect. Have you been there? Do you ever wrestle with these truths? 

Can I tell you? There is HOPE! There is a promise we can hold onto! The Word says, “There is nothing impossible with God.” (Emphasis, mine) That Scripture isn’t there simply as a “feel good” word. He didn’t include it just to taunt you and make you think He was kidding. No, God means what He says, and He keeps the promises He gives us. 

So, the next time things don’t go exactly as planned, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Sometimes, you might have needed a little more preparation. Other times, you need a little more practice, and often times, you just need a lot more patience! 

There are other factors that may contribute, but these can give you a great start. When you’re struggling to succeed, and you’re tempted to quit, I encourage you to look at a toddler learning to walk, or a teenager learning to drive, or maybe even, a more seasoned folk learning a new trade. Do they always succeed on the very first try? I venture to guess that answer is a big, fat, “NO!” So, why don’t you give yourself a little more breathing room, a lot more grace and take that situation to God, and let Him help you try one more time. 😉

Advertisements

The Crossroads

I think I have been relearning a lesson lately…

When we are seeking for inner change, and we are faced with our moment of exponential growth, we are faced with two choices. What we choose in that moment will determine if we move forward or start moving backwards, and sometimes, our choice will determine our ultimate success or failure. There is a crossroads set before us, and the road we choose will make all the difference.

Have you ever been there?

crossroads-660x400When we are seeking to be better, whether it be in weight training, ballet, education, acting, playing golf or even eating and health issues, there will always come a time, many times, actually, when the learning and the growth becomes almost painful to continue. It feels as if the choice to continue will surely be the death of our current state of being, and in actuality, it is kind of a death. It is at that moment when we must realize that our choice to “bow out” or to turn back to the more comfortable places will actually be detrimental to our overall growth, and in some cases, it can mean death to the dream or goal we have set.

When I, personally, come to this crossroad, this fork in the road, I am reminded of the poem written by Robert Frost many many years ago, “The Road Not Taken.*” This is one of my all time favorites, and I’ve referred to it often in my life experiences. He says, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood…and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.*” No matter which road you choose, each path leads you forward to a new place, or you can attempt to turn back from whence you came, and you may cripple the person you are to become. Just as a child, once grown, can never truly return to the little boy he once was, I cannot return to my former self without losing the strength, faith and understanding I have come to find in walking through these crossroads.

So, I choose to walk forward, to take this crossroad set before me, no matter the challenge it presents or the obstacles I may face tomorrow. The crossroad signifies a demarkation from what and who I was to what and whom I will become. I will keep moving forward, keep exploring and continuing to discover this new world, these new experiences and this new me to find who it is I am to become and to whom I will leave it all when my day has come.

 

*Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken, https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/road-not-taken

Photo: I do not possess nor do I own this photo. Simply found on Google Images from http://www.thebusinesswomanmedia.com/how-to-create-career-clarity-at-a-crossroad

Tears Bring Healing

Tonight, I had to tell our youngest, “No,” and it just broke my heart to watch him struggle with the answer, fight back the tears, and, finally, come into my arms for comfort and to shed a few more years. It wasn’t a no that I wanted to give, and it definitely wasn’t a moment of excitement, but I told him, “No,” because the cost was just too high, and we just didn’t have it to give for a new pet.

You see, he wanted a leopard gecko. He loves animals…LOVES them, I say. He always has; if I would let him, he would have his room (or the whole house, for that matter!) full of all kinds of creatures. He had been talking about this latest endeavor for about a week. He had researched what they eat, what their habitat needed and how they slept. He was ready. We headed to the pet store with the pre-knowledge that mom could pull the brakes, if needed, depending upon price, difficulty of care and the need to feed them live food. Note: Because he is only ten, and knowing the reputation he has of loving the pets but, eventually, leaving most the feeding and cleaning to mom, I was not going to be okay with a pet who was high maintenance or needed live animals in its diet. (Sorry, I’m really not a “girly girl,” but I don’t care much for crickets, worms, etc.)

Off to the pet store we went. The lady who helped us was incredibly knowledgeable. She had a fish, a bearded dragon and a cat at home herself. She was so patient and informative, even as we switched the decision, due to daily live cricket feedings to once a week live feedings, from a leopard gecko to a eyelash crested gecko,. Once all of the needed materials were loaded into the cart, and I started calculating in my head that this was rounding out at about $200, without the $50 gecko, I had to call dad…this was just a big chunk of change for such a small pet. Dad made the final call and agreed that, indeed, it was simply too much to be spent right now. I watched as my sweet, pet-loving, son took the news with courage and understanding but, also, with a broken little heart.

He dutifully put all the items back on the shelf, refusing any comfort or conversation, until I finally said, “Buddy, come here a second.” He came into my arms and buried his little face and cried. It broke my heart. I knew it was the right decision we had to make, but feeling his little arms around my waist and looking into his red, tear stained eyes, I was ready to weep. I wanted to make it all perfect for him, to see his beautiful smile and hear his little squeals of laughter and delight.

Do I just want to give all things to my children no matter the cost or consequence? By all means! Is it for their betterment if I do this? Definitely not. It made me think of our Heavenly Father when He has to tell us, “No.” He doesn’t tell us no, because He wants to keep us from happiness. He doesn’t tell us no, because He is a mean father and just wants to see us cry and complain. He tells us no for our good. He tells us no, because He has a better plan. He tells us no, because He wants us to grow and learn and become whom He has designed in perfection.

When JMan earns all of the money to go back and buy that gecko, he will have grown a little. He will have learned more of what rewards can come when a little hard work and effort are achieved. He will also have learned a lot about appreciation for a gift well earned rather than an attitude of entitlement for a gift just simply received. Over the next few weeks, when the tears have settled and the little jobs are being done around the house, he and I will talk about the lesson that’s being learned…a life lesson: there are times we won’t always get what we want instantly, but if we set a goal, take the necessary steps to get there, it is always achievable. We will, also, talk about how in the moment, the tears may come and the disappointment may feel as if it’s breaking our heart, but given time, we will see clearly the growth, strength and healing which come when we handle our disappointments the way he did today.

On a lighter note, I found this pic today could very well and see this being him one day…without the pink pjs and long hair, of course. Lol…

  

**note: I do not possess, I do not own nor did I take this picture. It came up via Facebook. I simply screenshot it and posted here. 
 

 

 

Be YOU and Nobody Else!

As I sat in a room full of women that night, I looked around and saw those with whom I’ve been friends for years, those whom I’ve known for only a short while, and those whom I had just met this very night. All different, yet, very much the same. We’re all in this world, struggling to survive.

I had watched a comical video on Facebook earlier in the day about different mom-types, and how we tend to compete over whose parenting methods are better and whose are just terrible; yet, when it comes to a possible danger being threatened in the life of a child, we will all pitch in to save that one child, no matter whose it is nor what we feel toward that one mother. I guess, this, coupled with my own beliefs, is why I was prepared when the conversation at the table turned toward parenting styles and opinions on how a child should be raised.

It actually was a very good conversation, and, thankfully, at this table, everyone was gracious in their answers to one another, ever how differing they were… There was one mom who had been, and still is, a full time bank employee. There was one stay-at-home mom who plans to completely homeschool when her three children become of age, another who is at home, with her toddler, right now but plans to return to college soon. One was a full time mom of a teen and elementary age boys, one was a young grandmother who works full time, yet, keeps her grandkids as much as she can. Another was a missionary’s wife who hopes to return to the missions field soon with her three year old and baby on the way, and another was a retired grandma who gets to see her grandchildren often but maybe not as much as she’d like. The rest of the 25-member group was just as diverse as this list.

Each one of them had different pregnancy stories, nursing methods and lengths of time, sleeping procedures (to sleep with parents or not), schooling options and stay home or work full-time choices. We all are as different as the day is to night; yet, we all agreed that there’s not a right and wrong method to raise and nurture your children. Those who adhere to The Word of God for their lives, yes, there are some right and wrongs that we must chose; however, when it comes to the other “surface” issues, we each agreed, “You must find what works best for your family! … What works beautifully for my family may bring total havoc to yours! … Always be open to advice, but never place unnecessary expectations upon yourself to live up to someone else’s methods and standards for your family.”

This is so very true! Never allow someone else to dominate your parenting landscape. Never place another family high on a pedestal and believe if you can only follow their formula to a “T,” then, your family will turn out perfect overnight, and you’ll never have worries again. No, life just doesn’t happen that way. Life is life, and people are people. There is no “magic formula” which makes babies stop crying, children to stop fighting and teens to always choose the right answers. No, this is a journey, and we all must travel it. Each of us are very different, made individually unique by the Master of the Universe. He made us each as diverse as the stars that shine above us.

So, follow your dreams. Dream for your family. Seek His ways, gain wisdom from others and learn what works best for your family. Train up those babies, and let them spread their wings and fly. You can do this! You were called to be… YOU!! You are beautifully and wonderfully made!