Here’s your mood music for this post:
I referenced in my post about my experience at Shine, the Noonday Collection Conference, that God was pretty clear with me about the words, “Just show up.”
Just. Show. Up.
That’s what I’m being asked to do right now and it is A LOT of work. All of the showing up that I’m doing at the moment is the stuff that is uncomfortable for me and that I don’t feel like I’m very good at it. I came into the new year with only one trunk show on the books (who cancelled while I was at Shine, by the way) and I’m having to try to fill up my schedule with what we refer to as “asks.” People who I have to ASK if they would be interested in hosting a trunk show, and that I’m not good at. But I’ve been doing the work and showing up and this past week and a half feels like it’s been about a month long. I have one show on the books as a result of my asking, one “yes” that I am trying to turn into an actual booking, and one “maybe.”
Honestly, it’s pretty much all I’ve been thinking about. That and how tough things are right now with the kids, they are both in phases where there is a lot of drain and not much give-back for Jeff and me. It’s been a tough week and yesterday, as I sat on Cam’s bed folding his laundry, I said to God, “Father, I’m so sorry for being so stressed about all of this. Am I totally defeating the purpose? Am I not seeing your blessings because I’m having to work so hard at this that I’m letting it consume everything. I’m so sorry…”
There are moments in which God responds IMMEDIATELY, and this was one of them. “It’s OK, ” He said, “This thing I’m asking you to do is really hard. It’s not easy for you but you are trusting Me and you’re doing it and no, you’re not doing it perfectly, but you’re trying and it’s what I’ve asked of you so it’s OK. I don’t expect perfection.”
And then He turned my thoughts to an incident that happened Sunday night and reminded me of my own thought processes. Sunday night, Jeff and his dad took Cam to his first Blazer game. Cam did really well, stayed engaged the whole time, and by the time they got home about 9:30, it was two hours past Cam’s bedtime and he was done. He has never been a kid who says, “Gee, I’m tired. I think I should go to sleep.” When he’s tired, he likes to pretend he’s not sleepy and gets wired and rebels and fights it…and Jeff and I were tired and did not react well at all.
The next day, I texted Jeff and reminded him that Cam’s struggle to go to sleep was really on us. WE had asked him to stay up late to go to that game, we KNOW he struggles with getting to sleep when he’s tired, and we owed it to him to give more grace than we did. This, God told me, is exactly how He saw this situation with me. He was asking me to do something that was hard for me because He knows it’s the best thing for me and for the world and unlike Jeff and me, HE is perfect and patient and has limitless grace for me as I struggle- and what’s more, He doesn’t forget to be proud of me for trying and doesn’t forget to celebrate what I’m doing well in His frustration. He doesn’t forget that it is HIS PLAN that has put me in this place of struggle and so when I don’t respond perfectly, He gives hugs and grace and encouragement. Oh, that we had remembered that with our sweet Cameron. Forgive us, Father.
The next day, on the exercise bike at the gym, I was reading the She Reads Truth “Daniel” study and something jumped out at me. The author wrote, “Here’s the thing: our failure to perfectly follow Christ has already been defeated on the Cross.” So truly, God is perfectly equipped for my failures. Not only can He be patient with them and redeem them, He has already redeemed ME from them.
So, I can go on just showing up, with no promise of success, bumbling my way through it because IT IS HARD FREAKING WORK to do something that you don’t feel like you’re any good at it, and my Father in Heaven is going to keep being patient and encouraging and forgiving and redeeming my bumbles because He is perfect and He’s a way better parent than I am. In the meantime, I’m going to strive to parent more like He does. Father, be with me…