Monday, November 17, 2014

Sick Days and Learning to LOVE

My kids are all home today.
It's a Monday.
It's not a holiday.
It's not my choice.
One doesn't go to school on Mondays, and the other two are home sick. They are sick enough (coughing) that I know it would be obvious to others, but not sick enough that they are lazy and just want to rest on the couch and be cuddly.
The sad part is I don't get my time with just one kid like normal. It makes Monday a little harder for me. And they feel like now they need to be entertained all day...
The nice part is it is cold and wet and dreary out. And I don't think I'll have to go out in it at all. And my schedule wasn't booked, so I'm not rescheduling my day...

For most, kids being home sick might not be a big deal.
For me, it seems hard.
I don't think it should be.
This is the first time my kids have taken "sick days." They have either been sick when school was out for the weekend or snow or holidays...or I have sent them even if they were just a "little" sick. I'm sure other parents may read this and get upset and say I am THAT mom that got YOUR kid sick...but I could say the same about how mine got sick too...and germs build up our immune system, right?

My kids are in Kindergarten and preschool. Them missing for being sick (or any other reason) is not a big deal yet. They aren't getting work sent home because they missed so much. They will go back and won't be so behind that they feel bad about missing.

But I think I have allowed them missing (or not missing) to become a reflection of my parenting. I was upset that Micah got a "tardy" while I was out of town and I found out on his progress report and now his record for the year is "tarnished." It probably bothered me way more than it should have!

If I get my kids to school on time and pick them up on time every day, then I'm a good mom. I have it all together. I have it together enough to get them all up and fed and ready and to school on time. And other people think I'm awesome because of it (or at least I like to think they think I'm awesome!). If we plan vacations and trips around school holidays then we are better parents for not taking them out of school and therefore taking school lightly. If my kids aren't staying home sick, then I am obviously the best mom on the block that can keep my kids healthy all year long.

Or I am missing out on trips and extra time with family because we "can't" miss school.
Or I am sending my kids to school just a little sick because I don't want them to miss.

I want them to be considered a good student. I want them to be seen as the kid and the family that has it all together. Not like the family that can't ever make it on time. That can't make their kid's lunch in the morning. That is always the last one to pick their kid up. Where ever they go! That can't keep their kid healthy enough to be in school...

And there it is. The judgmental side of me that also always feels like I'm being judged. The side of me that finds my identity in what others think of me (or at least in what I think others think of me). The side that finds my identity in being the mom that has it all together. The mom that has kids that get to walk up at the end of the year and get an award for perfect attendance and be seen once again as the mom that must have figured it all out!

But my kids are home sick. And that's the truth of it. And I don't want to risk them getting their friends sick just so I can keep my identity...And I desperately want to be okay with it. Really okay.
As much as I want to be seen as the "together mom" I also DON'T want to be seen this way because I know I don't have it all together and I know if I appear this way, others will always look at me and feel like they can't measure up and feel like they can't be around me. And that is the FARTHEST thing from what I want. But that's what I (we) do. Especially us women. We compare. SO much. TOO much.

And I don't want comparison.
I want friends. I want genuine friendships.

What if we just loved ourselves and loved each other.
Through our weaknesses. In spite of our junk. BECAUSE of our weaknesses and junk and insecurities and failures and sick kids...

If we were so busy loving ourselves and loving each other, we wouldn't have time to compare ourselves with each other and worry about how we are being compared to and judged.
How great would THAT be!?!

That's what I want.

So, my kids are sick.
But when they are better, let's hang out.
Let's be friends.
Let's be genuine.
Let's LOVE each other.
And ourselves!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Is it worth the risk?

Me and Bob Goff!

I just got back from a fabulous opportunity to go to a conference (Storyline Conference) where I met some of my favorite writers, speakers, and bloggers! It was small, up close, and personal. There were hard questions that I sort of want to shy away from but also really want to process. Things I don't know the answer to and am sort of not sure if I want to know the answers. But really know I should work to find the answers.

There are a few things that stick out more than others. That keep rolling around in my head. That won't get out of my thoughts. One was something Bob Goff (wrote the book Love Does) said in his talk to close out the two-day conference. It was in the mix of other stuff. But it stood out to me. It's not something I haven't heard before. But is obviously something I needed to hear again. And something I need to process.

"I would rather fail trying than fail watching."

My immediate thought was, "I would rather not fail. I would rather not fail than fail trying."

I'm not totally sure why. I'm not sure what has put this in me. I know I have always been the person that doesn't want to raise my hand in class unless I know I'm right. I don't want to risk being wrong. I'm the person that wouldn't try out for a team if I thought I wouldn't make it. I wouldn't apply for a job unless I was sure I was going to get it. It doesn't mean I always accomplished these things, but when I was wrong or would lose or would not make the team or wouldn't get hired...I was reminded of why I didn't want to try in the first place. Fear of failure. Fear of rejection. Fear. Lots and lots of fear.

But God is not a God of fear. And he has not called us to live in fear. He has called us to live in LOVE. And there is risk in love.

But maybe it's worth it?

Yes, I think it's worth it.

This is still in my head right now. I don't think it has made it to my heart. There is still fear for me. I still sort of think I would rather not fail than fail trying. Because if I fail trying, then I might be a failure. For some reason I think I am going to be defined by this. By my mess-ups. By my failures.

But my mind is sort of shifting to start wondering if this is also failing? Am I failing by not even trying? Not trying to just BE ME. Not trying to risk relationship. Not trying to make new friends. Not trying to figure out what my story is and how God wants me to live it. Not trying new things.

My thinking is starting to shift a little.

Just a little.

Because it is still hard and scary and I still have a fear of failure.

But I think my definition of failure needs to change a little. Or a LOT.

And I need to remember something else Bob said, "It's okay to fail because you'll fall into the arms of Jesus."

YES!'s okay to try, and fail, and fall into the arms of Jesus!

I know there is so much more to this. And to all the other questions and statements that people were speaking directly to me during those two days.

But here's to trying. And risk. And failure. And falling. Into His arms.