Happiness can exist only in acceptance. ~ George Orwell
The above photo was snapped during a recent biking event. I was participating in a time trial hosted by our local off road/mountain biking organization, Club Scrub.
At first blush, this photo depicts nothing really, except perhaps sheer determination. It represents no great achievement for me personally except that I finished what I started. I came in fourth out of four participants in my time trial class (sport). Like the Olymics, there are only three podium positions in our club’s time trials. The eight plus mile singletrack ride took every ounce of energy I had. The day was unseasonably hot–88 degrees with 62 percent humidity resulting in a “feels like” temperature of 93 degrees. Yes, it was incredibly hot, and I gave the ride every last drip drop I had within me, but the heat offered no excuse for the defeat I felt. The time trial was humbling. I don’t mean in an, “Oh, I’m so humbled…blah blah blah…” empty platitude kind of way. I mean humbled as in: Oh! My! Gosh! I’m 51 and my competitors range from YOUNGER than my daughter to (much) younger sister, and I simply could not hang with them. I was so far out of my league I was in a different zip code. I had a lunch of humble pie that afternoon.
As I mulled over my ride, I was really disappointed despite the effort I put forth–even though I knew I rode as hard as I physically could. I simply couldn’t have done better. And then it (slowly) dawned on me. I am what I am. I am who I am. I am where I am. I am me. I was forced to acknowledge that I’m lavish with grace and acceptance with everyone except myself. And dang it, I need to accept and EMBRACE my effort FOR just that–a whole lot of friggin effort. I need to be proud of myself for what I bring to the table. I can’t lie. That’s so darn difficult for me personally. As an overachiever to whom a lot of physical accomplishments have come easily, that’s humbling. But I’m gonna do it. I need to do. I need to do it for my own wellbeing. So, I hereby resolve to cut myself some slack. I’m officially giving myself a break and telling myself exactly what I’d tell my husband, daughter, son, mother or friend. Bobbie, I’m proud of you. You gave it your all girl. Put on your big girl panties, find contentment where you are and celebrate those young(er) whippersnappers that kicked your tail. They’re fierce gals–just like you. Congratulations on a job well done, one and all. #letsridebikes
This morning as Jackson and I were pulling into school I pointed to a break in the clouds and told Jackson God was looking down on us and telling him to have a great day. He said, “Good morning, God! Keep your eye on me today!” I reassured him God keeps his eye on him at all times, watching over him, protecting him. Jackson then told me of playing tag at recess, and how he laughs with his friends. As I pictured this in my mind, my eyes filled with tears. Tears of joy. Tears of happiness. Tears of humility. Tears of unworthiness. Tears of the knowledge of God’s overwhelming grace.
I always tell people I’ve never met a happier child than Jackson. He is happy from the moment his eyes flutter open at the crack of dawn until they flutter closed at day’s end. The child does not know a bad mood. Something about this really struck a chord in me this morning. It was an unexplainable sense of how blessed–yet how unworthy—I am to parent these two children of ours. Every time I think about it, I’m overcome with emotion.
I have no idea what God sees in this wretched soul, but I am grateful for this precious gift of parenthood He has bestowed upon me. My undying prayer is that I bring glory to Him in this mess of life.
Children are not casual guests in our home. They have been loaned to us temporarily for the purpose of loving them and instilling a foundation of values on which their future lives will be built. ~James Dobson
For the first time in weeks I took (as in forcefully snatched it out of the day) the time this morning to go for a run. I took our two energetic pointers with me. Since it’s been awhile since our last run, It took a bit for us to get into synch. As we were plodding along (read: sucking wind) early in the run, i was struck with the following thought.
Through the precious blood of Jesus, my husband and I are God’s adopted children. In turn, God birthed the desire to adopt a child and facilitated Jackson’s adoption. Then the three of us adopted these two knuckleheads (thought with all the love in my heart) running along with me. Truth be told, all five of us are as broken as the day is long. Seriously. Our family is a whole bucket full of whacky dysfunction, but God’s amazing grace covers each and every one of us. And that makes it not only okay, but it makes life doable. Even on the worst days when I want nothing more than to pull the covers up over my head and pretend I have nowhere to be, HE has got this. HE carries me. Everything is gonna be alright. And for that I’ll praise Him and worship Him all the days he grants me on this earth. Thank you, LORD! Thank you.