Today dawned bright and clear, and my two youngest daughters and I joined some friends at a nearby Starbucks before heading to a few stores in search of Black Friday deals. I put on some Stress Away, threw Clarity and Believe in my bag, and off we went. My prayer was that I would be led to gifts that would spark joy in the recipient and a blessing to my pocket book. And at the end of the day, I believe that's what we bought.
I started off the day with my big bodacious goal/affirmation to which I've added some fun dance moves that make me smile in remembrance of my Mexican certification students, especially Cathy mom and Cathy daughter who would add this little salsa arm dance move to the end of their affirmations.
I felt energized and joyful which I maintained throughout the majority of the shopping trip, with the exception of a few moments of doubt over purchases I was making (I can really put myself in a ball of anxiety second-guessing my spending choices and harassing myself. But I'm definitely quicker to stop and reevaluate my thoughts in the light of God's presence instead of my own judgments.) After reapplying Stress Away and inhaling Clarity and Believe, we completed our purchases, and ended our Black Friday adventure with lunch at Chick-fila.
The positive energy continued to flow as we went to our friends' home for more hang time, and my friend and I commented on the things we would miss when our kids all have their own families and traditions. But today we smiled and enjoyed watching our girls have fun together with giggles and squeals and a few groans as they played a game together.
I pulled up Facebook to scan my feed when a post popped up that made my heart sink. Sometimes I wish I was a social media illiterate.
In an instant, what was left of the joy and energy of the morning drained out of me, and I began a habitual mind game called "where did I go wrong" except for today I called it "these are not the seeds I planted…or are they?" I sure thought I did due diligence to train up my children in the way they should go, to teach them to love the Lord with all their hearts, souls, and minds…to foster in them a desire to have and develop their own relationship with God, to hear Holy Spirit, and to follow His voice.
Let me be clear, I do see lots of positive, good growth in my kids. And as we all know, social media is not an accurate depiction of who a person is. There are more really incredible things happening in their lives than the not so great things, more good fruit then this other fruit I saw today in my feed. Which just highlights for me my need to dig in and get God's perspective, ask for His lenses to view this situation through, rather than my own faulty judgments.
When helping my AFT clients and students craft intention or goal statements, we are often led to create an "even when" phrase, such as "I maintain my joy and excitement even when my kids make choices I didn't teach them to make, when their lives don't look like anything that I thought I was planting in their formative years."
That sentence is a little long, but you get the picture.
Yes, yes I do need to do some work on myself as nothing pulls me quicker from my place of peace than fear over my kids and comparing myself to someone else. I did both of those things today, frequently, and I know better. But the problem for me is that the knowledge is in my head and not down in my heart. I know intellectually that my God is bigger, His seeds is incorruptible, and that His plans and purposes do succeed. My heart apparently struggles to hold onto that truth.
I thought about my current affirmation and how I don't care about the money…how I'd just as soon lose all my stuff as lose any of my kids down a black hole…but I'm trying not to call the shots here. Just staying observant and aware, taking note of the hiccups in my process and the places I need to circle back around to for even greater freedom.
You bet I'll be setting an intention around this to work through soon. Tonight I can barely keep my eyes open long enough to do my evening affirmation which I will keep the same as before: