It’s going to be another crazy day in another crazy week, but I’m pausing to write for a minute from the heart.
I can’t count the number of moms I’ve spoken to recently who have mentioned that life is “really getting to them” lately. For those of us with children in school, it’s the month of last minute projects, concerts, recitals, tryouts, registration, programs, testing, finals, games, practices, etc. So much of the entire year is decided in May. Most of your summer plans must be finalized by now, and most of what your children will be involved in come September must also be taken care of. It’s a crazy month.
Personally, I feel like I’ve been swinging back and forth between desperate and joyful, experiencing everything in between. I’ve been reminded of the saying “When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” I think a lot of us are doing that right now. All the ups and downs combined with the exhaustion of this month has made me look more carefully at myself, made me realize that I need to toughen up. It’s going to work out, so I need to be steadier.
I’ve had occasion to re-read the stories of some of my ancestors in the past two weeks. Sarah Adelaide gave up her family for her religion. Mary walked across the plains pregnant, with a two year old. Elizabeth crossed the plains as a girl, wearing out her shoes along the way but she didn’t stop walking. They wrapped her bloody feet in rags and they finished the journey. They buried children, buried husbands, and kept going. Many of them were poor, and yet in their own extremities they found ways to lift the burdens of others. I read their stories, feel the greatness of their spirits, and wonder what they would tell me about feeling overwhelmed by things as trivial as soccer games, dirty bathrooms or homework assignments!
This morning I read a quote by Jerry Falwell, Sr. It says, “You do not measure a man’s greatness by his talent or wealth, as the world does, but rather by what it takes to discourage him.”
Isn’t that a great thought? I want to be someone who closes the door firmly on discouragement and keeps going. It’s one thing to be strong when you’re rested and quite another to be strong when you’re weary. What does it take to discourage me? An honest assessment tells me I have distance to travel to get there, but that is a kind of greatness we can all achieve. Few of us will be renowned for our talents or our wealth, but we CAN be undaunted. We CAN press forward courageously and optimistically, no matter what.
As I’ve been studying my large stack of books which deal largely with human behavior, a thought has been parading through my mind for weeks. It is this: “We don’t feel our way to better behavior. We behave our way to better feelings” -Dr. James Lehman. In today’s world where so many of us quit doing or never start because of our feelings, it is important to understand that we’ll get much farther in life if we act the way we need to act and in so doing improve the way we feel instead of giving up because it doesn’t feel right that day.
I want to be courageous, undaunted. I will refuse to be discouraged by small things. I can do this.
Care to join me?