Maybe It’s Just Me

Brad Paisley got it right. When he described his girl as “sunshine mixed with a little hurricane”, I’m pretty sure he was describing Sweetgirl. That kid is a whirlwind of toothless eight-going-on-eighteen.  Ahab and The Nana would surely describe me similarly… plus a few teeth. And pounds. And years.

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The times I have to watch my Sunshine hide behind clouds of doubt or insecurity, though, because of the way others treat her, it’s my own inner hurricane that starts brewing.

I can’t be the only one who identifies with the inner hurricanes I see within these tender-hearted girls. Self-doubt is a powerful ingredient in an emotional storm and it surely does seem like there are far too many of us huffing harsh words out onto others in hopes that we will feel smarter, prettier, more popular, and even seen. We whip our attitudes around and lash out at others in an effort to boost our own meager confidence. We think more highly of ourselves than we ought in hopes that we matter more than the next girl.

And none of it does a single thing to advance love, joy, peace, kindness or goodness.

No. In fact,  witnessing how hurtful and mean girls can be toward one another is distressing. Watching the devastation left in the hearts of the hurt is heartbreaking. Too often this meanness starts a vicious circle of behavior: Be hurt. Hurt another. Feel better. Be hurt again. Hurt another again. Feel better again. And on and on it goes.

And, I’m tired of hearing that this is just how girls are with one another. Responsibility gets to fly off on the shoulders of Blame, that way. And, assuming that girls will determine social hierarchy with little emotional fallout makes about as much sense to me as throwing a non-swimmer into a pool and saying, “Good luck with that swimming thing.”

Comments sharing how there will always be mean girls fall hard on my heart, too, because I’m a firm believer in doing what you can. Don’t we all remember the Starfish Story? We can throw one starfish starving for it’s watery habitat back, and it will make a difference for that one single starfish, won’t it?

Aren’t the hearts of girls worth just as much effort and attention?

With their increasingly younger noses perpetually pressed to their smart phones or tablets, and seeking social acceptance there, it seems obvious that guidance is needed. We adults need to be checking in often enough to know who and what these girls of ours are trying to get their self-worth from.

And, while we’re at it, where are we trying to get our own self-worth from?

As I’ve mentioned here and here, I do believe our worth is something a few of us adults need to be reminded of, too.

Or, maybe it’s just me.

What do you say we work on battening down those hurricane hatches together?

God knows Grace gushes in my general direction because I desperately need it.

Often.

Can we agree to work on showing, not telling, our girls how to treat themselves, first. Can we remind them again and again that they are created in the image of One who loves them more than any Facebook or Insta “like” ever will. And can we do that together, by caring more about the eyes watching us refresh our screens than those on our screens.

Sweetgirl needs some help learning how to combat The Mean with the truth that we are each a special God-designed mix of sunshine and hurricane. Especially as we boot up for a new school year.

And, quite frankly, her mama can always use some more work in that area, too.

Always.

Yes indeedy.

Who’s with me?

Hammer Time

I can almost bet you were hoping for a pithy 80’s post here.  Ain’t gonna happen.  Sorry.

I am a master (mistress sounds all sorts of wrong) at squashing any thoughts I might have that propel me to the completion of a goal.  In fact, I’ve discovered that my thoughts follow a pretty stinkin’  predictable pattern of progression.  There always seems to be a point where I turn on my heel and stomp out. Sometimes, I quietly try to crouch down and crawl out. But either way, I give up. Maybe you can relate?

Let’s say that my final step is to actually build The Thing I’ve been planning in my head for years a time. And, let’s also say that I’ve taken the time to gain some solid knowledge and practice putting hammer to nail. Also, let’s assume that I’ve made sure to get confirmation that This Thing is what it is supposed to be.

It’s time to pick up that hammer and start doing the hard work of laying board up to board and nailing things together until they take shape.

Here are some thoughts that go through my head,though, as I begin. Please, tell me I’m not alone?

“There are so many pieces to put together.”

“What if I get halfway in and realize I’ve measured incorrectly?”

“Am I sure these are the right kind of nails?”

“That hammer is gonna get heavy after the first 30 nails.”

“This is going to take a sweet forever.”

“Minus the sweet part.”

“Man, why did I start this project again?”

“Shoot! That hurt!”

“Ain’t nobody got time for this!”

“There are plenty of these Things already in the world.”

“Where is that devil dog?”

Distraction.

Dissuasion.

Incompetence.

They are all whispered into my ear.

And here’s the thing about All The Whispers: If I were to listen carefully to how each of those distractions, all of those suggestions, every point about my incompetence were being delivered?  I’d notice the hissing for what it is.

Lies.

Told by the father of lies.

Not today, buddy.

This goal will not be an epic fail.

I choose to tune out the thoughts that are against me and go with the thoughts that are for me.

By the Creator of Truth.

I am capable because I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.

Each seemingly insignificant pound of hammer to nail head honors Him in not despising the small beginnings.

I am, indeed, the right person for this job because He called me to it.

This thing is important because it brings glory to God.

Where it should be.

And most importantly, I’d rather take my cues from the Master Carpenter any day.

And with that, I do believe I’m willing to pick up that hammer again and resume the building.

After, of course, a little devil dog break.

Yes indeedy!

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I just need to plug Renee Swopes’ book “A Confident Heart” again, here.  Those thoughts above about “against me and for me” thinking?  They are hers. She has truly given my heart strength and courage as I’ve been going through this book.  Click the title of the book to go get your own copy.  I love you, but I’m not sharing! I say that in love, of course.   (This is NOT an affiliate link.)