This week has been challenging on multiple fronts and the challenges kept coming at the most inopportune moments. None of the things I faced was truly awful but each wave of stress swept over me exactly when I thought my head would be above water and I could breathe easy for just a bit.
I admit that by Friday morning my attitude was pretty awful.
And I was feeling rather justified and satisfied in my bad attitude-some people had let me down, some people had lashed out against me, my hips hurt, my feet hurt and my “to do” list had lengthened every day instead of getting shorter as I worked through the items. I was not looking forward to next week which is going to be filled with daily interaction with strangers and increased responsibility for children I don’t know.
But a conversation with my daughter (O Wise One!) helped turn that around.
She didn’t do it by shaming me or tossing Bible verses at me or refusing to acknowledge the very real challenges, stress and pain I faced.
She did it by turning my heart and mind to the children I would have the opportunity to reach next week in our community through VBS.
She did it by reminding me of the many children she and our family have known through the years that may not need to hear the ABCs of how to receive Christ (because they have heard that before) but may need the undivided attention of a trusted adult for just five minutes out of a long summer.
She helped me remember I love children and I love seeing their faces light up in the glow of genuine affirmation and encouragement.
She reminded me who I really am.
Sometimes we all need an attitude adjustment and her wise words helped adjust mine.
I have a shepherd’s heart.
It’s why I go to extraordinary lengths to save a member of my flock. It’s why I will drop everything to come to the aid of a broken heart. It’s why there is no such thing in our house as being “too busy” when someone reaches out and needs a hug.
But for a few days I forgot that.
I had forgotten my true identity in the frenzy of trying to live up to others’ expectations and in allowing others’ remarks or actions to dictate my own.
I forgot that the only One Who matters is the One Who made me.
When I remember that I am the beloved child of a loving Father Who has promised to meet every need I have through the riches of His bounty in Christ Jesus, I am free to be the person He created me to be.
And that’s who I want to be.