Last Friday, while working in the concession stand at Firstborn’s school, my foot began to cramp. The pain was horrible and one of the other mothers told me I wasn’t drinking enough water. I was a little irritated and embarrassed because she admonished me for something I preach to other women all the time. Drink water! Drink water! She even told me in front of a couple of other women – good grief. Foot cramps occur for many reasons, but she was right – I had not consumed enough water that particular day. Instead of immediately drinking water, I silently pouted because she corrected me. She was only helping me, but my pride got in the way. My fragile emotions didn’t allow me to embrace what God was doing at that moment – giving me help. Women don’t always embrace the counsel of other women, but if we realize she may be God’s messenger, her words may be easier to receive. If another woman lovingly says our dress is too short or too tight, accept it. If we’re told we are complaining too much, accept it. If we’re told we should smile more or that we aren’t being friendly, accept it. If we’re told we need to exercise, eat healthier, or drink more water, accept it! Of course, we naturally consider the source, but if we are allowing God to order our steps, other women cross our paths to strengthen and encourage us – to help us. We often hesitate in admonishing one another because of our reactions. How many times have you heard or said, “You tell her!” Let’s attempt to receive the words God sends us. We obviously don’t listen when He tells us Himself! What’s the popular phrase? “Don’t shoot the messenger!”
By the way, make sure you drink at least 8-10 glasses of water today – I sure will.
We are deep into the first month of the year and it’s time to check on New Year Resolutions, New Year Intentions, or whatever we call our vow to change. I didn’t make a resolution, but my word for this year is ‘abide’. The reason all my past resolutions never came to fruition is because I tried. Trying only led to failure, but when I finally realized the answer was not to try, but to surrender, things happened. Although it may be a simple word choice, being completely conscious of my lack of ability to do anything outside of God’s power is crucial. Even to be a little better today than I was yesterday, I must surrender my will and abide with God. Abiding is resting, dwelling, or as I refer to it… sticking like glue. I tried to write a book, but it didn’t get published until I stopped trying and surrendered my will. Staying married is a result of (continual) surrender. My son’s improvement in grades is a result of my surrender. My perseverance to exercise is a result of surrender. Keeping my mouth shut is definitely a result of surrendering. An awareness of my boundaries and not taking control of every situation is surrender. Abiding reminds me to surrender and reminds me of God’s power and my lack of. Abiding allows my flesh to be still. Abiding keeps my thoughts on His super and not my natural. Abiding has changed my raggedy mindset to one a little more stable! Instead of becoming discouraged because of my inability to make changes in my life or someone else’s life, I’ll stop trying and surrender the situation to God. To surrender is the door to success and abiding is the key. Step by step – day by day – we can do it if we abide – stick like glue.
The boys and I heard the song, Mama, by Boys II Men while driving around yesterday and Secondborn told me he might sing that song at my funeral. After I smiled, he emphasized the word ‘might’ because he didn’t want me to get my hopes up – as if I would know if he would actually sing the song or not. I laughed, yet it presented a wonderful life lesson. I explained to Secondborn how much I enjoyed his singing and how I would enjoy it more while I was alive. I’ve always been amazed at how death, a funeral, or even sickness reminds us of our love for someone. Why don’t we love on purpose? Is it because we take advantage of life itself or do we believe we’re promised tomorrow? I know I need to hug my boys more. I know I should speak my husband’s love language more. I also need to tell my own parents how much I love and appreciate them more. No special day is needed nor is a grand program required – just do it – love on purpose – love everyone. Mothers tend to get so busy with life and wrapped up in the role of motherhood that we forget the power of the love we possess. The power we have to influence through our actions and the power we have to encourage through our words goes beyond expression. Our love is God’s love. Later that evening, I helped Secondborn with his History project and he was all smiles. He appreciated my help so much, he even sang a little while he worked. Although I was dog tired and really didn’t feel like helping, I was alive and enjoyed hearing him sing!
Thigh toners, breast enhancers, lip puffers, abdominal rollers, butt boosters, and weight watchers are just a few commercials trying to convince me to improve my body. Thank God I’m old enough to know better, but my younger years tell a different story. I was skinny and had very skinny legs. I would sit in the mall with my younger sister and make her compare my legs to those of other girls’. I didn’t like my body and would wear baggy clothes to hide my frame. I was taller than everyone and walked slumped over in an attempt to be shorter. It’s a shame we place so much emphasis on our physical body and then pass this physical obsession on to our daughters (and sons). All women want to look and feel pretty, but the essence of who we are is much deeper than our physical attributes. Our height and weight is not what matters, but our character and our inner spirit is. How our spirits connect with each other and how we touch each other’s lives is what our memory should register – not the memory of one’s hair style. Loving me was a process and I believe age had a lot to do with it, but wouldn’t it be great if we taught our children how God created them just the way He wanted them? I guess we would have to believe this for ourselves before we teach it.
Yes, God created you and shaped you to be different – there is no one like you! You are unique and special in your own way. You were wonderfully made. You were created with beauty and specific purpose. Everything about you was meant to bring God glory. You are the daughter of a loving King and His loving Spirit lives within you; therefore, you should love yourself! Look past your skin and recognize your spirit within! Remember, as wives and mothers, before we can love others, we must love ourselves first.
I love me!