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Passionate: Inviting God to Unlock Our Talents and Purposes

PASSIONATE-Inviting God to Unlock Our Talents and PurposesMy week consisted of my high school sophomore son’s history paper on the negative influences of social Darwinism on society and my third grader’s Wampanoag mishoon (canoe) project. The older one wrote an intense analysis that squeezed every brain cell I had just to follow it (although it was wonderful to be reading a paper like that again—especially one written by my offspring!). His paper flowed so well because of his passion for the subject, unlike last year’s history paper around the Indo-China Wars, for which he had no enthusiasm or interest.

My third grade son’s mishoon project required patience and varied approaches to focusing his ADHD superpowers long enough to remember the information he needed to communicate in a video presentation. I tried note cards with prompts. I tried rehearsing. Then I took a deep breath and left the room. I am pretty good at offering strategies to help his mind slow down a bit and order itself, but I was fresh out of patience and ideas. I wasn’t mean about it, but I took a break.

Enter my extremely calm husband, who decided to write out all the information Little Man (my third grader) spoke to him. Having it completely written out on cue cards, Little Man felt free to look up and let his full personality out during the video. Solving the logistical, executive functioning problem made a way for creativity to flow. It was as if we watched a door unlock and the real person come through. He instantly went into newscaster mode and ended up with such a charismatic presentation, he could run for president—oh wait, let’s not make that connection this year! [Smile.]

So, I’m just curious:

What gets in our way of letting our God-given personality and passions come out? Read the rest of this entry »

 

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Un-Defining a Day: Setting Expectations Properly

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I wasn’t going to blog this morning. I was going to take the day off. I’m tired. I just published my first book. It’s my birthday. It’s the dogs’ birthday (that was God’s very personal gift to me last year: Samson and Delilah landing on this planet exactly on my birthday). I just took my child to the early arrival program while still in my pajamas (vest over me, but you get the picture). I have the oldest home from high school today. I haven’t had my coffee.

I could watch the dogs play with their new rubber squeak toys, sip a pumpkin spice latte, and read my own book. LOL.

I haven’t stopped much to rest in the past two months.

And really, after a blog 6 times a week, for 7 weeks, how much more could I possibly have to say right now?

But this morning was an OCD battle morning. And I realize that I need to blog. I sometimes can’t turn off the writing noise in my head until I’ve thrown a few words out there, italicized and bolded for good measure.

The blogging compulsion is so strong lately that I blogged an email to a high school teacher. Yes, yes, I did. What I mean by that is that I wrote the email blog-style (although it was shorter). After, my son and husband agreed with me that maybe right now I shouldn’t really be trusted to write emails to teachers. It wasn’t horrible or anything. But she probably needed it more in paragraph form. I hope she at least sipped some tea and might consider a little trip to my amazon.com page as a result. But, that really wasn’t my goal or my point.

And this blog isn’t about the specific episode I encountered this morning with some inflexible thinking, rigidity, and panic in one of my offspring. It’s really just about how to not let a day completely derail you. I’m actually learning a lot about this as we look for ways to keep our calm on around here.

As this morning’s getting-dressed-for-school-and-twitching-about-the-time-arriving-to-the-flexible-arrival-school-program episode played out (how’s that for avoiding detail?), I found myself back to my pretzel breathing again. My blood pressure was climbing to unpleasant levels, and I needed to get a grip. I’m not a morning person, I made a decision as a parent not to rush that morning, the husband is traveling all week, and I just have to let perfection go.

But this particular child of mine could not let it go. And so I drew a calm, clear boundary (while thinking a lot about the metal pot I once threw in frustration on Kwajalein—I didn’t throw it at anything but the floor, but that’s a blog for another time). Reliving the feel of tensing my muscles for that metal pot throw in the past really did alleviate the need to do it again today. I don’t throw things anymore (I only have a handful of times anyway). I’m growing up! But I thought about it.

Boundary was received not too long after the last round.

And I know that not every morning is going to fly by and smile at me. I know when we’ve been up too late the night before, the next morning will not be smooth. A birthday doesn’t guarantee that a traveling spouse is home, high school three-hour Back-to-School Night isn’t on the same day, and our usual issues and struggles take a vacation.

I’m in my 40s and just recently figured this out. If you’ve figured it out sooner, that is so awesome. It’s toffee-nut-latte-worthy, really. I genuinely mean that. Sometimes I wonder how I got to be this age and still do not have this whole expectation thing down. My child certainly had expectations this morning. I kind of just threw mine out the window today, but I’m not mad about it. I’m actually quite peaceful.

Expectations can often dictate the day. Mine always have coffee in it. And Jesus. Beyond Jesus, everything else can flux and be unpredictable (even my beloved caramel white mocha latte!).

I want to start un-defining my day because it’s not me who really controls everything. And reasonable expectations help me chillax. When I over-define the way in which it should go: epic fail. I can strive to achieve a few things in my day, but I do not actually define it. Wrapping my head around this has been incredibly freeing.

The sidewalk I walk on suddenly got bigger, more open, and lots of room for more of Jesus and peaceful living.

Psalm 18:36, David speaking about God
You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way.

Jeremiah 29:11, Jeremiah the Prophet sharing the words of God
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

 

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