About a month ago, I picked my daughter up from school to find her completely distraught. I thought for sure her sadness had to be the product of some first-grade best friend drama. But, upon coming home, she melted into a sob and I was able to make out the words, “I … can’t… do… a… cartwheel.”
My mothering tendencies lead me to be a bit of a lecturer, but I resisted the urge to dump some reasoning on her, and instead, comforted my daughter as best as I could.
“Someone else can do something you can’t?! Yeah, I can relate. What a bummer.”
In the moments that followed, we put together a rough plan to help my seven-year-old reach her goal. She decided she would give herself 30 days to get better and 3 months to nail it.
If you are a parent, a big sister, or just have a close girlfriend, I am certain you can relate to a time when someone you care about was feeling discouraged or worse because they could not do something that was easy for someone else.
Perhaps you have even been the one to gently point out that maybe this goal had not been reached because THE GOAL WAS NEVER ACTUALLY SET. If you are reading this blog. please let me be that friend who gently points out to you that you will not reach goals that you do not set.
It is all too common that we fall into this trap ourselves. Perhaps you can relate:
“Becky had the cutest, most Pinterest-perfect birthday party ever! I can’t compete.”
“Jennifer just took her kids to Disney. GREAT! We are budgeting the park for this summer!”
“Bah! Jess is already back in her skinny jeans! I’m cancelling our pool play date!”
“Meredith and her hubby just went away for the whole week, without kids! Can’t remember the last time I even had a date.”
“Sandra just finished her degree! I stuttered answering what the date is today.”
“Cool, there’s Monica, off traveling the world again. Should be a good line up for me today with the grocery store, Home Depot, and T.J. Maxx.”
…insert Facebook highlight picture
…insert Facebook highlight picture
For a seven-year-old battling the new grounds of the social jungle, yeah, I get it. It’s hard not to covet the skills and abilities of friends. But, grown adults? We should know better! We fill our heads with negative thoughts and allow the thief of comparison to slip in and tell us that we are not enough. “Look how great someone else is at doing something into which I am currently investing zero effort.” It is as ridiculous as it sounds.
So, here are some notes from the lecture I wanted to dump on my heartbroken daughter. Find an interest stirring in your heart, something that makes you happy or excited. I am talking small potatoes, here…
- I want to learn to bake/cook/knit.
- I want more alone time with my husband.
- I want to teach my kid to swim/ride a bike/play piano.
- I want to read a book or my bible more.
God has created our hearts with very intricate depths. The limitations that arise are often from our own insecurities, doubts, and ignorance. Women Soaring was created with the desire of our leaders to help strengthen and encourage women to grow their faith and find their true identities. What an amazing summit to reach! Finding your burning passion and God-given purpose is a goal I pray all of us reach, but that digging deserves a whole new blog post (we will surely get to that).
January is typically a hot month for drawing up focus charts and goal sheets, but I want to challenge you now, at the start of summer, to set some targets for yourself and your family. The speed of time seems to pick up as the years tick on, which brings no better time than right now to remind you how quickly this summer is going to zip by before you know it. Are you going to be deliberate with your time? Are you going to be diligent with your efforts? Are you setting aside specific times on your calendar for the “small potatoes” mentioned above? Let me encourage you, right now, today, by claiming that the tide of summer will not whisk you up and spit you out in September. This will be a summer of growth. Why? Because we are going to match our efforts with the things that matter most.
Are you fired up to get this summer rolling or are you feeling stuck in a valley, dreading the long heat of summer? The last two summers, I was the latter – they were rough ones for me emotionally. I lost my brother unexpectedly the summer of 2017, which shattered my family. Before I could catch my breath, we uprooted and moved internationally the summer of 2018. My whole world was upside-down.
There are peaks and valleys in all seasons, but that doesn’t mean any of those seasons need to lack direction. You are worthy of great things.
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” -Philippians 4:13
I urge you not to get hung up with those around you doing cartwheels. Maybe they
stretch every night. Maybe they take classes a few days a week. Maybe they have been
training since they could walk. Your concerns should be aligned with action for the here and
now. I would love to read in the comments what your “small potatoes” are going to be
for this summer. We can high five, encourage, and support each other from our own lanes as we move forward.
“And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus. Giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:17
Written By: Ashley Elliott