Brain dump... Ready, set, go!
(Dad, did you notice it's a Caterpillar?)
So here are a few things I've been thinking about A LOT lately...in no particular order: Parenting, work (the idea of work, not my job), trials and challenges, families, love in families, friends, humility, pride... And the ultimate question: Am I doing enough of what really matters?
Parenting: Always a challenge for sure... Some of my greatest challenges and greatest blessings come from being a parent. Lately, I'm in an observing mode...observing me, observing them, observing them interacting with us as parents, observing the joy that comes to us as parents through those interactions. Also, for some reason every time I look at Nate lately I remember those 2+ years when it was just him and me. I remember how in love I was with his smile and dimples, and curls...and everything about him. Now he's 15 and towers over me...and he's bald (long story). His voice is deep and he is turning into his own person. I'm not sure where I'm going with this, except that I've been thinking about it all lately...
- How fast it goes.
- How amazing they are as they grow.
- How it is sometimes difficult to watch them grow.
- How difficult it is to be a parent.
- How amazing it is to be a parent.
- How thankful I am to be able to share parenting with a guy who loves his kiddos so much he often cries when he talks about them.
Work: Again, it's not really my job I'm thinking of as much as the idea of work, and the importance of work in our lives. I grew up on a farm. Now I work at a job where I can set my own hours and come and go as I please. I love the freedom it gives me with my family (which is also work...let's face it). But I also think of how I use my freedom and my time, and I think about the farm, and all the work that doesn't stop, even if it's time to go home to your family, because the work doesn't stop until the job is finished. I'm just trying to remember that and it makes me more conscientious of how I spend my time.
- I think we're meant to work.
- I think we feel accomplished as human beings when we work.
- I think what we work at is also important.
- I think of God's directive to Adam and Eve that by the sweat of their brows they would eat... I've sometimes thought of that as a curse of mortality, but I'm starting to wonder if it's one of God's greatest gifts to us because of the satisfaction He knew we'd feel if we worked.
Trials and Challenges: Can we all just agree challenges are part of life? Maybe challenges are a little like work...and we try to escape them if we can, but looking back, would we really give up the growth that comes from challenges? Again, another area where the wisdom of God shines through. As my kids play sports or work at homework assignments, I think of the comparisons of our lives to those tasks and efforts.
- I hate challenges.
- I love the joy that I feel when God embraces me in challenges.
- I love the growth that comes from challenges.
- I'm thankful to have wonderful people to share challenges with...friends, family, even sometimes strangers...all fellow travelers on this mortal journey.
- I hurt when other people face challenges. I hurt for them and with them.
- No matter how long I live, and much much I know challenges are a part of life, I'll always, always want to make it better.
Families and Love in Families: I've already been
musing blogging about this one before (see here). But it's still on my mind. I think we're always trying to build kindness in our home and family. Who isn't? It's always easy when we're thinking about it, but when we're under pressure, or don't have enough time, or feel emotionally spent, it's more difficult. I'm noticing this more and more among our teen crowd as they grow older and more teen-agish. One of my children was telling me the other day about something very compassionate they did for a peer who it seemed didn't have a lot of friends. Not five minutes later, this same altruistic child was verbally tearing a sibling to shreds so we had another little chat. I asked this child what the difference was between the compassion shown to a friend and lack of compassion to a sibling. The honest answer: Friends don't hurt you.
- Yes, in families we sometimes get hurt...
- And mad...
- And resentful...
- Which makes families the perfect place for growth...
- And real love that comes from compassion that motivates us to forgiveness.
Friends: Mostly I wonder if I'm a good friend... Really, really a good, true friend. I'm working on that.
- Not just when I have time
- Not just when it's fun
- Not tomorrow.
Humility and Pride: I'm trying to remember that pride is selfishness, and that we can't grow when we think only of ourselves. How many times a day do I have to check my pride? Constantly.
- I try to remember the humility of Jesus Christ in coming to earth as a mortal being to subject himself to death.
- I'm learning that to love others because they love me is prideful, but to love others because I have compassion is humility.
- I'm not above anything, and when I think I am, I miss out on some of the really amazing acts of humanity around me all the time.
Told you it was a brain dump. I'm sure everyone but me is bored, but I feel better!