Wednesday, January 11, 2017
Thursday, December 1, 2016
They say the speeches you hear or books you read that profoundly impact your life have little to do with the dynamic presentation but instead have articulated the ideas you've not been able to express.
I think that's true.
Of all the countless church services I've sat through, and the hundreds of conferences in my professional carreer, I can graphically remember only a dozen or so messages.
One message I'll never forget, and quite frankly am recalling for my own encouragement this week, is this; while attending a leadership conference, the speaker asked us to stand up. He then instructed each individual to keep their feet planted but to turn at the waist and try to see behind them.
He asked us to pick a spot on the wall behind us and then to try and twist in order to see even further.
Holding the pose and still looking behind us, the speaker asked us to take note of how much further we were able to see when asked to put in more effort.
I remember turning and feeling the stretch in my back when I looked behind. I was curious to see how much further I could see if I tried and I remember a feeling of satisfaction when I realized I could see more than I thought. Just as I was pondering the experiment the speaker asked us to turn ourselves as far as we could.
Thinking it was a ridiculous request I tried to turn myself even further and to my own surprise I was able to look way further than I thought I could.
|My favorite Bitmoji|
Think about that.
When I thought I had twisted, turned, flexed and stretched to my max, I found I had more room to go.
I had more room to go.
So the next time you think you, "Just can't" pause and ask yourself have you really reached the end of your capabilities, or do you have some more stretch in you?
If you're done - you're done. Know when it's the end. What I'm talking about here is grit. And digging deep. And not quitting without at least trying.
You might surprise yourself.
You might think you've put in as much effort as you can but with one ... more ... twist, yes into that place where you're afraid it might get uncomfortable, you might surprise yourself.
You might have more room to go.
And you might see something you've not yet noticed.
And that might be your next best thing.
Saturday, October 8, 2016
I spent one of my junior high years at a private school and the second at public school and as I dig deep into my memories I cannot find a positive memory from either experience.
But I shook those rough years off and then, well ... grew up.
When my daughters entered junior high my past remained faithfully tucked away in a dusty old yearbook somewhere. This was going to be their experience. This, I was certain would be better.
But, oh hey there Junior High. I can see you haven't changed much.
I wondered if my fraternal twin daughters - who are a sun and a moon, they couldn't be more different in every way - would stay together or use the freedom junior high has to offer - to branch apart; find their own set of friends, activities and hobbies.
They haven't. I've noticed in a group of girls, they still stick together and I'll admit at first I thought it was a good sign; their bond would remain intact. But as time went by it appeared they were less sticking together and, I began to wonder, more being left out.
Maybe they were but my heart told me they have what they need inside of them to navigate the social scene. Not climb to the top of the social ladder - we're in no way interested in our Tribe to be on top people, we're more interested in being happy, kind, make the world a better place people.
I decided not to worry about them.
And it seemed I was making the right decision when teachers, coaches, and even other parents on the bleachers stopped to tell me how much they were enjoying the girls, especially my 'sun' (the shiny sparkly one of the sun/moon combination).
Until. Yesterday twin sister was visiably upset. Upon investigation she confessed she was privy to some hateful conversation about her twin. Apparently my sun is too sparkle-y, too loud and obnoxious.
I looked at her beautiful face, eyes rimmed with tears dangerously close to spilling down her cheeks, masked my own grief and asked what she was going to do with that information.
We talked about the reprocussions of approaching the mean girls as well as the probability of just keeping quiet about it all. I asked her to consider all of the possible outcomes and instructed her to understand whatever she chooses to do, she has to own the consequences. We hugged it out and we'll see what happens on Monday, if anything.
I find it ironic how the same qualities celebrated by the adults who have met twin sister are the same characteristics annoying her peers.
I think that is the very hardest part about parenting; raising children to be people who have the skills to navigate the bigger, wider, and sometimes harsher world, while fostering the belief that they have a meaningful contribution to make to it.
Turns out potty training was not the hard part of raising kids. Releasing them out into the world prepared is. Thank goodness we get to do it in stages. First junior high, next the rest of their lives.
What about you? Have your daughters had 'mean girl' experiences? How did you handle it?
Thursday, October 6, 2016
All of it makes me want to ask; where's the balance between the two? Why can't I be the mom who has a clean house, makes homemade brownies for the bake sale and forgets to pick up her kid after school? Why can't my attempts at parenting be simultaneously successful and a fiasco? Somewhere we've picked up the expectation that if we fail anywhere in parenting we've failed in all of parenting. I'm not okay with this.