Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Holding On To Grace

For the last 10 or so years, I've had the same New Year's Resolution: To floss more than I did the year before. So far, I've made little progress. Sad, but true. I'm starting to think that I need to change my strategy or change my goal. Either way, I still probably won't floss. Sometimes I'm just an underachiever.

Other than this elusive one goal, I don't really make resolutions. I don't believe in them. I don't think they really hold weight after January 15th. So why make 'em? But, I do set one solid focus for myself. Something I really want to give my attention to for the year. If you've been reading around here for long, you'll remember that 2011 was the year for me to "Do Less, Be More". Looking back, I think I achieved stellar success in Doing Less. Being More fell a little to the wayside.

By the start of every new year, I tend to have in mind what my focus will be. It's just something I tend to 'know'. But, 2012 has stumped me so far. Maybe it's because I forgot to Be More last year and now I'm paying for it.

I've read a lot about Grace lately. The kind that only He offers freely. It's a gift I think I often overlook as belonging to me. Grace is something for everyone else, I can't seem to absorb it's blessings into my own skin. I don't know why Grace is hard to hold on to. And I don't think I'm the only one that can't keep her grasp tight.

We read about Grace, we listen to others teach about Grace. We even speak about it as if we have taken it as our own. But have we really? Have we taken His Grace and planted it deep in our soul? Have we let it heal wounds and comfort our flaws? Have we let it soften our mistakes and give us hope for what He brings?

I think that this year I want to 'Hold On To Grace'. It looks fairly easy written down in words. But living with what you hold is a whole other thing. It takes knowledge and work and patience with yourself. It requires us to examine and change while finding joy in the process. Sounds just a bit daunting.

But what if we collectively held on to Grace together? What if we could each stand still and accept His offering? That kind of strength just might make our grasp a little easier and a little lighter. Just as Grace should be. Just as He intended.

May we each find Grace this year.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

A Different Someday

I remember a time in my life where all I wished for was for everyone to be old enough to feed themselves and buckle their own seat belts. At that season of my life, those thoughts felt like a 'someday' that would never come. I could hardly imagine a life where I wasn't dressing little people and making bottles.

Now that 'someday' is here, ever present. My little people are now big people who can buckle their own seat belts while simultaneously fighting over reserved seats in the car. I no longer dress them, I simply stare at all the clothing they leave on every surface of the floor. Instead of spending my time making bottles, I drive in endless circles shuttling everyone here, there and everywhere.

Back then, in my season of little ones, I thought that this 'someday' would somehow be different. A good different. A life-will-be-so-much-better different. And guess what? It's just different. Not better, not worse, just different. One exhausting chore has simply been traded for another. Little people tantrums simply grow into teenage melt downs. Not better. Just different.

I think we tend to view the future with relief. We wish away the hard parts of today with a firm belief that next month, next year, next season will be better. We convince ourselves that because it will be different than today, it will therefore be so-much-better. But change has never equated to better. And next month, next year has never promised a new 'someday'. That has to come from a place within and not a season of life.

I see things differently now than I did back then. Experience, age, mothering, enduring. It all tends to change my viewpoint. But most of all, it changes me. Not the season, not the year, not even my everyday tasks. They have changed me. That's the perfect kind of different. The one with purpose and promise. 'Someday' is today, I just have to have the patience not to wish it away.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's All In My Head

I haven't been motivated to write. I can't really put my finger on the reason for it. I just haven't been able to force myself to sit, type and use my brain all at the same time. It's weird. This has never happened to me before. Writing is just like breathing for me.

My sister is convinced that my mental health is unstable. Which, let's be honest, how far of a stretch is that thought? What if I'm just old and my brain is tired? Endless hours of arguing with a teenager on why-she-can't-have-a-car-when-she-turns-16 is utterly exhausting. How many ways can you say, "There is no more money. You've taken it all."? Maybe I need to learn that phrase in three other languages. Might help.

I have considered the possibility that there just hasn't been anything going on to write about. Would you believe it? Me neither. We deal in crazy around here. That's just something that never goes into remission.

About 2 weeks ago, I decided to say only 'nice and non-condescending' things to my sister for a full day. So, I just didn't talk to her. At all. She would call me on the phone and I'd just hang up. The next morning I called her to list off all the things I had refrained from saying the day before. It cleansed my soul.

Last weekend, child #2 made it into Region Choir. I was so excited for her, I started screaming. When I told her I was proud of her, she just looked at me weird and said, "Why?" Maybe she thinks my mental health is unstable too.

Todd switched the phone/internet/TV to a new company. It changed everything on the TV and turned off the phone. Totally serious. Haven't had a dial tone on my phone for days. Todd is all sorts of popular around here. But this morning, I found the silver lining to all this--the Principal can no longer have me on speed dial. Somehow, that brings me an enormous amount of peaceful comfort.

Here's to staying motivated. Time will tell.....