The moment I start to focus too much on my own feelings, the ground starts to shift. I loose my footing and perspective.
I finished listening to a book these days. It was dense. And for the first time I find listening to a book overstimulating. I think I enjoy the silence of reading more. The author spoke a lot of truth. She says that hard teaching makes soft hearts. Soft teaching makes hard hearts. Speaking the truth is often uncomfortable. But we ought to not speak uncomfortable things for the sake of discomfort but always do it with love and wisdom and even restraint.
But regarding one’s identity, being who you are for god’s glory changes the whole mood. The mundane, for God’s glory captures the heart and keeps pur gaze on our Beloved instead of ourselves. And it is freeing. So freeing.
I judged the subtle messages through the lens of my insecurity, or expectations or high demands of life as it is. The camp in the mountains turns out was over capacity, with people camping in the conference room. And the main focus was serving the teens and preteens – who were thirsty for fellowship and hard teaching and mentors and adults who love them. I took a step back and rejoiced in the success of this pursuit, because though we may not see the benefits right away, the sense of community, strengthening values, parents banding together in prayer and making a common front in setting boundaries… this is work for God’s kingdom and glory. And I needn’t be there this time. My heart resonates. My body is limited. My mind is fried. My patience is thin.
Yesterday I met with my older group of friends. We were supposed to meet without our kids. Without our daughters. Just to have adult conversations, and focus on our dear friend who is due to give birth in a few weeks. The young ones have grown so much, and matured so much… is not as hard as it used to be when they were little. But we still want to have adult conversations sometimes. The kids ate together, and they didn’t need us to hold their hand. My youngest (the youngest last night) was tired after dinner and came to sit in my lap and asked when we are going home. She was bored. She was tired, rightly so after a full hot day.
While planning where to go and what to get for our friend, the decision to not bring our kids was overturned. And I felt again tricked, like that time we flew to Barcelona. Except this time I could change the plan without headache. There weren’t flight tickets involved. But those old hurts were stirred. That spring was very painful for me. I enjoy my kids, and I take them places, but there are times when I don’t want to have any kids around. But if kids must come, I might as well bring mine too. A sensitive self would have taken in personally. Based on prior experiences and hurts. But a recent theme I translated for MOPS regarding our sensitivities and how we are called to be unoffendable to be like Jesus, to not miss out on opportunities to love others… It convicted me and it motivated me to be filled with grace for myself and others. To be unoffendable.
Yesterday was a blessing for us and the kids. The celebrated mom felt special and loved and surrounded by her sisters. The young girls loved the outing and the socializing. I’m trying to not micromanage any of their relationships. Just create healthy contexts for friendships. Had I been easily offended (and it was tempting, because taking ofense feels powerful but the fruit of offense is rotten) I would have missed out on my perspective being changed. Understanding the context of the camp I wasn’t invited to. Seeing the girls rekindling old friendships with joy and ease. Thank God for his grace and patience with me.