Friday, July 19

Something better

Here I was, my head craned toward the ceiling in The Girlie’s room, steadying my hand so the turquoise paint spread evenly on the wall. It was my escape. Before I started, Samantha was working on math sheets downstairs (no escape from “school” in summer here..) and had a difficult time focusing. 

And she was getting upset. Truth was, she was tired. Hungry. Hot. Bothered.

But, this reaction has also happened frequently in better conditions. Luckily, on this evening, Dad was there to have a conversation about it.

So back to painting. While I was concentrating on straight lines, I was also eavesdropping on “said conversation” next door. The focus issue with math was a bigger issue, really. Lack of confidence. Comparison traps. Feeling inadequate. Feeling “less than.” Wanting to fit in, be one of the smartest, be recognized for her talents. 

And so it really begins – little parts of childhood and innocence and confidence are slipping away and being replaced with the junk most of us assume as teens and perpetuate as adults.

As I watch my kids sprout another few inches and grow in maturity, I am concerned about who they will become. I’m not satisfied with the explanation “well, teens just do that…” or “hey, girls go through those stages.” That may be true 90 percent of the time – and I have said these phrases a lot myself – but it feels something like “settling” to me. Like it gives license to act a certain way, flirt with trouble, get away with more, think less of ourselves.

I wonder if there’s a higher ground here. Do things have to be how they’ve always been? How they are for the 90%? 

Or can we have more?

I think of so many things I want my kids to hope for and to experience.

How different our world would be if we really loved ourselves. If we could erase insecurities. If we could trust that all will be well.

How different would life be if we remembered that today won’t be tomorrow. Our problems now are not always permanent.

How would we treat each other if we believed God loves all of us with equal fervor and depth – so deep, in fact, that this love overshadows all the ridiculous decisions we make, the unfortunate ones, even the painful ones.

What if we stopped saying “I should” and started saying “I did”?

What if the least were first? 

What if we taught our kids that it’s more important to be kind than right, to have less so that someone else might have more?

What would it be like to see someone else’s viewpoint and not be critical first … to believe in possibilities and not hampered by what we think is impossible?

What if we didn’t view the purpose of life as getting the most out of it for our own enjoyment, but as a chance to give the most of ourselves as an act of thanksgiving to the One who made us so fiercely unique?

And what if being fiercely unique was a good thing, and not strange. If we stopped trying to fit in and started trying to stand out?

If that world exists, sign me up.

Or maybe we make it exist, in our small pocket of the planet. We might be fighting an uphill battle - an army of a few against a bazillion, but it's probably a fight well worth the effort, right?

Oh, to remember this often.

On a related note ... wanted to pass along this great blog series that encourages us to see the world from other people’s perspectives. So, so wonderful to find this gem.

Happy weekend!

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