Oh Brother! I found myself on that crazy carny ride that takes me spiraling to depression again. If you remember I seem to get on this ride often. In fact, I wrote about it here. The latest time has left me feeling completely exhausted and sick to my stomach. Did you ever see the movie The Sandlot? The boys are at the carnival buying tickets for crazy ride, when Bertram Weeks pulls out the chaw. Oh boy! The guys are so excited. They each take a huge hunk and start chewing Big Chief Chewing Tobacco while getting on the ride. You know what happens next….
That’s kind of how I feel when I start doubting who I am. But guess what? I’ve figured out the secret. It’s so simple! I just ask myself
What is the Truth?
Example: the committee members are asked to host several tables for the annual fundraiser. Last year I had seven tables! This year? I can barely fill one. (Then it begins…You’re such a loser. Why can’t you fill more tables? This event depends on donations and if you don’t have people there how can money be donated?)
TRUTH: This fundraiser is NOT dependent on ME. In fact, we have more tables filled with guests than we had last year. My gift to the event is decorating the tables. This takes time, money and effort. It will be a successful event because of everyone’s efforts.
Example: I happen to look at my tennis record online and see that I have only won two matches in the past year and I have to go to the courts to play a match. (Watch out, here it comes….You’re such a loser. You’re going to get bumped down a level. You’ll never win tonight. No one will want to play with you. You’ll get dropped from the teams you are playing on now.)
TRUTH:I am a decent player sometimes. (I even surprise myself!) Someone has to be the winner and someone has to be in 2nd. The fact is is that my friends are real friends who love me and won’t kick me to the curb for my match record. Most importantly, I am 48 and NOT getting paid to swing a racket. I don’t get upset when my partner has a bad moment, so shouldn’t I have as much forgiveness and grace with myself? I think so.
Example: My 16 year old son and his friends have made some bad choices recently. (Here we go…You’re such a loser! You’re such a failure as a mother! If you had only blah blah blah…)
TRUTH:I’m actually a pretty terrific mom. (Whoa. Did I just give myself a compliment?) I don’t know if you’ve raised any boys or not, but can I just say it ain’t for wimps. Just ask any adult male about being 15-19 years old. Have you ever seen the show World’s Dumbest? Well, all of the stupidest stunts, accidents and decisions are done by 15-25 year old guys. My son and his friends’ decision to do something stupid is NOT my fault. Superman and my job is to set up boundaries. When our children cross over the clearly defined line, we, as parents, are to hand out the consequences. Am I disappointed about his choices? Yes. Do I love him with all my heart and will I do whatever takes to get him back making responsible decisions? Absolutely! My job as a mother will never end. It will just change.
I’ve recently discovered the National Geographic Channel show The Incredible Dr. Polon Netflix. I can watch show after show. I love it! In one episode, Dr. Pol and his son, Charles, are asked to help a woman with a crazy young stallion. As Dr. Pol castrates the teenage male horse, Dr. Pol says
All balls, no brain.
No balls, all brain.
Hmmm….is there any way to….
Anyway. My prayer for you and me is that we will see ourselves the way God sees us. He does not expect is to be perfect. In fact, He expects us to make mistakes and to be imperfect. I pray that we’ll turn to Him when things get messy.
TRUTH:God wants us to depend on Him.