Thursday, July 25, 2013

the push (a letter to myself).

most mothers don’t encourage their children to push -- but, i do.

i tell my kids all the time to push themselves: to push themselves in their studies; to push themselves out on the field or court; to push themselves in helping around the house; i've even had to tell them to push down on the gas pedal (ever pull out into traffic with a teen learning to drive? -- heaven help us all!) mostly, though, i encourage my crew to push themselves out of their comfort zones.

i tell them that. but what about me?

what do i tell me about my nice little comfort zone?

it’s easy for us mamas who are always talking and forever teaching, and even cheering our kiddos on, to forget this message is meant just as much for us.

for us: for those of us wearing jeans with peanut butter smudges across the backside. for those of us 17 weeks overdue for a highlight. for those of us who break nails scraping rice krispies from bowls and old gum from inside the dryer. for those of us who, while standing in line at target, realize we’re wearing two different shoes (yes, it’s happened), for those of us who are at target because our pre-schooler forgot to put on her panties (yes, that’s happened too -- but not on the same day, thankfully. Lord have mercy.

but we women, we need to push a little too.

and, girls, i’m not talking about the vacuum cleaner!

i’m not even talking about pushing it on the power walk or pushing young ones in strollers or toddlers on swings.

i’m writing today about the place deep inside each one of us where we know there’s this little seed ready to get going, ready to grow.

but if you’re at all like me (and i know a lot of you are!) it’s easy to forget about that seed. it’s easy to leave it alone. it’s easy even to pretend it doesn’t exist.

seed? what seed?

instead of pushing ourselves, it’s easier to push that seed back in the soil of our busyness or our burned-out-kind-of-days. it’s just easier somedays to bury it deep inside our mama-blah brain.

i know. i do it. guilty hand raised here in minnesota, ladies! i am a woman who can often look the other way when a dream or a thought or an idea comes waltzing along.

“i’m busssyyyy,” i whine.

“i’m tiiireed,” i whimper.

because let’s face it, when the seed is given a glance; when it’s watered and fed, it can all of a sudden become this big, gangly, out-of-control kind of thing. we have no place for something so large to be looming up inside us. there’s no room for anything extra. we’ve got our plates full and our hands fuller, and for a lot of us, the last thing we want is one more bless-ed thing to take care of. and in case He forgot, i remind Him: good gracious, Lord, i'm raising five children right now, don't you know? don't you see me running like a woman with her hair all on fire?

we don't have time to be called. and if we find a few minutes in the evening, we are flat out of energy.

i know. i’ve been there too. i’ve wasted some good time at night on the couch with reality television droning on the screen and a bag of doritos waning in my lap. i’ve even tried to convince myself that i’ve earned it. and maybe i have on occasion, but not all the time. not often. nope, sorry, you can't convince me of that one. it's about the push.

now, i’m going to stop right here for a moment and make sure we are still all on the same page. just in case one of you has wandered a bit ...  (we women, we are prone to wander)!

hear me girls: I AM IN NO WAY undermining or belittling or bemoaning motherhood. from the time i was two it was all i wanted to do ... to be ... to become. and it still is. after five kids, i can honestly say, it’s been my favorite season, my biggest blessing, my sweetest place. i flat out adore the wild-riot of it. and there’s not a day that goes by where i don’t give thanks for the chance to be home right now with my brood...even when they wipe their peanut butter on my backside or use my pricey salon shampoo for a science experiment. (yep, uh-huh, happened).


i still think we’ve got some other good stuff inside of us. i don’t think the-great-mommy-hood has to trump all other places of productivity. it is an amazing part of God's plan, but it is not our only purpose. i know some of you handle careers and run companies and chair incredible events and lead 14 different bible studies ... and some of you do it eating all organically and wearing snazzy high heels. and maybe i’m not writing to you ... or maybe i am. maybe it’s your career or your calling that’s taken the place of the real dream ... stepped over that seed ... ignored the idea. maybe for you it’s not about doing one thing more, but about doing one thing less. i don’t know. either way, i am always in awe of women who juggle jobs and juice cups and just about everything. simply in awe.

so what am i suggesting?

i’m not entirely sure ...
oooh, i wince as i type that. face scrunched, teeth clenched, head bowed and shoulders up tight at my ears. i can feel your disappointment seeping out of my laptop even now as i pound out those words. i know you want an answer. i know you'd like a really helpful "how to." come on jody lynn, can't you please come up with something better than that?

but  here’s the deal girl: i’m not entirely sure what your seed is or how it’s best to be fed. i don’t want to pretend that i know your stuff. your stuff is your stuff. my stuff is my stuff.

but here’s what i do know:


each one of you has a unique gift and talent from God. he’s called you to something special. he may have called you to children and, believe me, that is both a gift and a talent, and it takes a whole lot of special. Amen? but maybe in the middle of all that, there’s also something else that’s waiting to be watered. waiting to be dug up and carefully considered.

i’m not telling you how. i’m just encouraging you to dig around a little... and consider.

hear me again girls, this post isn't about pressure. it's about the push to keep digging for God's holy purpose. He will use us right where we are. i am only submitting to you today, that God wants to use you -- all of you.

i’m giving you (and mostly me) the same lecture i give my kids: YOU CAN DO IT. you have something special. go ahead and push yourself. push through the pain. push through the problems. push through the places of maybe too much comfort ... and climb closer to Him.

“press on toward the goal for the prize 
of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
~ philippians 3:14

a little note:
i wrote this post on the plane this morning while flying to the She Speaks conference in charlotte. i'm here now and just wrapped up day one. it's been fantastic so far. 
so, guess what analogy the kick-off speaker (sharon glasgow) used in the opening session earlier today (after i wrote this post on the plane)?  pushing the gas pedal down and beginning to go! 

perhaps more on that tomorrow!  God has such a sense of timing...and humor!


DiJo said...

Hmmm.. Funny how God speaks to you! Sometime He flat out slaps you in the face with it... So glad Day 1 went great... Hoping you are snuggled in your room with beloved room service!!!! If not, get that coffee ordered for your wake-up call!!

Great post.. I was having a similar conversation with a pre-teen I know and love today!!!

Enjoy every minute!! Can't wait to hear about your book deal!!!! And, I want first dibs on that back cover headshot!!!


Paula said...

Great post as always! Perhaps this is also partly a pep talk to help prep you for launching your book idea(s) which, I have no doubt, will go very well. With your ideas and incredible gift of pen to paper (or key to monitor), you may very well walk away with multiple deals/offers! :-)

I have to admit, I chuckled out loud at the 17 weeks overdue for highlights....I am so guilty of that! Keep telling myself the summer sun will take care of it for now. Yeah....right. ;-) Enjoy your conference!

Jen said...

Love, love, love this post! YES---we all have a seed, that special calling that we were created for, inside of us. God's had me examining my seed lately, and it IS scary to think about watering it...what if it grows out of control? What if it takes over my life? And what if I kill it?!

Thanks so much for writing this thoughtfully and honestly. Hope the conference was great---I've heard it's amazing!

BumbersBumblings said...

Love this! Really needed to read this tonight. Feel so empty and dry this summer and so lacking in my passion for my home and family.

Rachel Wojnarowski said...

Beautiful. Outside our comfort zones- yes. Thanks for linking up this week; have a great weekend!