Saturday, May 19, 2012

Not In Scope of Work

We built a house last year.  As part of the process we had several opportunities to walk through, noting  progress made and things that needed fixing.  At one of these exciting viewings there were quite a few items that needed to be addressed.  Our builder made notes and lists for the carpenter and we all went about our merry way.  During the next adventure through the shell of our to be home, we were discouraged, greatly so, when we noticed that many of these items had not been taken care of.  Upon checking the lists, we made a discovery, the carpenter had an attitude.  Next to all the unfinished items there was a cute little phrase written, "not in scope of work".  Clever little carpenter.

Several months ago I was going through a bout of self doubt (yes, I am a poet and don't know it).  These are times I have learned to treasure, although at the time they can be excruciating. This particular bout had to do with feeling as though I was depriving my children because they are not 'up' on the latest music trends, fashion icons and brands, tv shows, and movies.  It pains me to even say it now, as I can see clearly how it's just not me to think those types of things, but that self doubt is a pretty sneaky fella.  I felt tumultuous inside to the point of needing to verbally erupt.  My husband is a great listener :)

After erupting quite nicely, I felt better.  Sadly, the relief was only temporary, as I had not made an internal change.  During the next playdate with self doubt, came the thought, "It's not in my scope of work to educate my children in the ways of the world.  That's not my business.  I am not comfortable there and do not belong in that space."  Amazing.  Not in scope of work.  What a relief.  A lasting relief I might add.

I discovered that as a mother I need an attitude.  An attitude that would see me through all the nay sayers of the world, the comments, judgments and criticisms of others, the hushed whispers of gossip that come when you choose to walk your own path and not follow the crowd.  Even more importantly, I would need an attitude that could withstand the self doubt that comes when others question with the intent of  helping me see my ways are just plain goody two-shoes, and I need to lighten up.  You see it's not other people that are the problem.  It is my very own special talent of being able to doubt myself so incredibly soundly, and to the core.  That is the problem.  I have found that many women share this special talent with me, and it is a great hinderance to the rising generation.

There is a force that is hard at work on families today.  This force is especially diligent in efforts to immerse children in things of the world.  These things have no business being in our children's lives.  They have no business in our lives.  They are meant to lead away, to cause straying in the most precise, deliberate, and dangerous ways.  They are subtle, sneaky, and difficult to detect.  The slow and steady steps toward these things are seemingly unnoticeable in our daily lives, and yet they creep us ever closer to the point of destruction.

Children sense fear and indecisiveness from miles away.  We are afraid of the fit, and they know it.  Who among us wants to be the mom with a child (of any age) throwing a tantrum because they missed out?  What would happen if the child was simply allowed the opportunity and invaluable experience of getting over the fit himself.  What if they were actually allowed to learn how to deal with and process their emotions.  What if they are capable of recognizing that the whining and screaming is not helpful for them and they can 'get over it' and move on.  What if we really can't save them from themselves at all.  

Born from good intentions is a desire to reason with them, to help them, to cushion the fall.  What if helping is hurting?  We want to save them from themselves and talk them out of what they are feeling.  What they actually need is to realize, of their own accord, that the result they seek simply does not exist.  Only then are they able to move on, and they do it very beautifully on their own.  

I am not suggesting we don't talk with our children.  I am not suggesting we leave them alone to deal with life.  I am suggesting that we tend to hover and save, rather than teach and lead.  The loving nurturing mother is always there, but not as a punching bag or self help guru.  A loving mother is there to hold a safe space and allow life to be the teacher and self to be the student.  What if we do best, by them and for them, by engulfing them in the things that will center and ground them, and give them the tools to govern their own path.  Rather than indulging them in things that keep the fits at bay, we can have attitude enough to set the boundaries, make the best choices, and ride out the storm when necessary.  

The temporary relief that comes as a result of indulgence, be it food, movie, video game, toy, sporting event, or what have you, is quickly replaced by a desire for more.  Often this desire is so overpowering that reason and judgement cease to be effective tools.  All that matters is that nothing is ever enough.  When we choose to indulge and over-indulge our children, they learn very quickly how good it feels to satisfy the burning desire.  Burning desires can never be satisfied, their very nature is to take over.  This is not joy.  This is not abiding peace and comfort that will encourage them and lift them through all that life will bring their way?

What burning desires are you cultivating within the hearts and souls of your children?  Are they worthy of their time?  Are they worthy of their efforts?  In a world that is obsessed with fame and fortune, the quick fix, something for nothing, in that world, we have an opportunity to raise calm and confident children that know how and where to find their own lasting peace and happiness.  If we choose to be calm confident mothers with attitude to rival all.  

I can't afford to raise my children as though they will step out of my home and onto a pillowy cloud of loveliness that will pour riches upon their heads and all abundance will rain upon them forever.  I don't know that life.  I know a life that has taken, and will continue to take, much hard work, faith beyond what I knew possible, and grace sufficient to make up for all my short comings.  No amount of money, fame, travel, or even education can fill the holes left from the shrapnel of this world.  

Thankfully (that is a serious understatement), there is another force that trumps all.  Thankfully, that force, namely Jesus Christ, offers an attitude with enabling powers beyond measure.  An attitude that is impenetrable against all, even self doubt.  An attitude with an heir of holiness and majesty.  An attitude that feels calm, confident, and assured.  An attitude that even the most wily child can not demolish.  The heavenly and peaceful space provided by this attitude allows us to detect anything, and everything, needful to secure a successful return into His gracious, merciful, and loving arms.  

My scope of work has nothing to do with making sure my children are immersed in popular culture, whatever, or whomever, the latest craze is.  It has everything to do with strengthening of spirit, growth of character, and living a virtuous life.  We are spiritual beings housed within the confines of physical realms and bodies.  I am aiming for a spiritual journey that takes place in this world, but is not of it, not even one little bit.

What is in your scope of work?


Amy Frank said...

Jesus did say, "Be IN the world, but not OF it." Great blog...again.

Katie Grzegorczyk said...

Amy, I just recently went through this same thought process and realization that every self doubt is from Satan, who is trying his best to destroy our family. I had to give a talk on Mother's day and tried to get this point across to all the mothers and women. I found that when I do have those times of self doubt I need to do something for myself, such as really study the scriptures, exercise, write in my journal, or any other uplifting activity. As I do that, then I am able to see more clearly the influence Satan is trying to have in our home. I love the closing statement, that your work is to strengthen spirit, grow character and live virtuously. That is something I am adding to my daily scope of work!