The school year is over, and I’m predictably about to cry at any given moment. Guilty of over-celebrating every moment of my daughter’s lives, they wake up on the last day of school to ballooned rooms and streamers decking out the doorway.
The only way I’ve found get through the annual commencement on to the next grade level is by preparing to crumble under emotional pressure. As a mom, I want to know that I’ve given them all of the opportunities they need to accomplish the dreams they don’t even realize they have yet. Helping children find their niche is a hard part of life to put a pulse on. It’s not a lot of pressure, really, just a ton and a half … and that can induce a tad bit of parental competitiveness, to say the least. To stay on the encouraging side of the word push, I’m learning to let go … and pray …a lot.
Push- an act of exerting force on someone or something in order to move them away from oneself. -Google
I didn’t think being competitive was a bad thing, until I realized how often I fail to shut it off at the appropriate time. My little girl used to love playing her ukulele. #competitivefail. My littlest refuses to even line up and race anyone at anything for fear of losing …#uh-oh #competitive.
To encourage my kids without discouraging them seems impossible to me, because I’m not sure how to function on that level. The fact that I fall short in so many ways magnifies mid-mind, and reflects poorly on my parenting if I’m not privy to flip the switch.
I run the risk of seriously mismanaging my mothering by allowing the tornado of competitive thought to push on my parenting decisions. I let it whir and woo me, suddenly convinced that I’m clueless and dysfunctional. The snap of the comparison trap yaps loudly in my ears, as I look at other people’s lives through an unfocused lens.
“I was pushed back and about to fall, but the Lord helped me.” Psalm 118:13
When I’m being pushed away from who I am, the great “I Am” braces me from complete crumbling. The One qualified to guide lives with care is He who created each and every individual one with love and purpose. Jesus, who walked to the cross, waits to wipe the heavy and helpless tears.
Encouragement is found in the push to pray.
Reach-stretch out an arm in a specified direction in order to touch or grasp something. -Google
“Mom,” my eight year old laughed from the backseat, “you’re always happy.”
The highway lines blurred with fresh tears.
“Mom,” she whispered in my ear as she gave me zero personal space during a meeting she tagged along to, “you’re good at being silly…”
Wow. I didn’t feel silly. I didn’t feel happy. After the waterfall of emotions that had enveloped my week, I hardly felt like good company …let alone a good mom.
God reached out to me through the most important call He has put on my life to speak:
“I love you.”
“For he had healed many, so that those with diseases were pushing forward to touch him.” Mark 3:10
I remember pushing and sneakily squeezing by people to get closer to the stage at a Kenny Chesney concert. Did I think he would spot me in the crowd and we’d be best friends from that day on? It was a ridiculous case of “star struck.”
Those first believers in Christ pushed through that crowd. These people who pushed for Jesus knew EXACTLY what could happen if they touched him. Diseases were being healed, demons chased out of spirits. This wasn’t just some singer in a cowboy hat on stage, this was God walking among them!!!! If we push through this world’s agony with faith of that magnitude, we will heal.
As I imagine the crowd pushing towards Jesus, I remember what it felt like to be tossed around in a concert mosh pit in my twenties. The force of a determined crowd can be fierce.
When my tiny distance-runner frame got knocked to the ground in that pit, I was scared to death of being trampled on. Instead, I looked up to a hand reaching out to pull me right back up again. There is peace in the push, but we have to reach for it. Keep pushing in prayer, reaching for His hand, and pressing through the crowd.
Over the panic that she can’t do a cart-wheel yet when everyone else can. When she looks back at me to see my reaction…
“You’re OK. It’s OK. I love you.”
When she gets stuck on a word as she’s learning to read, and a wave of frustration takes over her beautiful face …the all too recognizable, “I’ll just never get this right,” tears…
“You’re OK. It’s OK. I love you.”
Encouragement is found in the push to pray. He is right there. Already knowing, and ready to embrace me in my frustration of simply being human. Jesus, in His perfect way …says,
“You’re OK. It’s OK. I love you. Reach…”
It’s easy to confuse the alienation of this world with feeling hopeless and alone. Jesus allows us the opposite privilege. Let go, and let Him. #neveralone