Ever have the thought that you wished you met your expectations of yourself?
Not in a depressive kind of way. Just in a super candid kind of way.
I pretty much always wish I could do more.
Big ideas. Big plans. Lots of details. And the décor of it all looks beautiful.
That what lives in my mind anyway.
I will leave some big open space for you to think about that and make a few observations of yourself. This will all make sense in a few paragraphs.
Here are two thoughts for you today.
The first thought comes from the new book I am reading. The book is called Share Your Stuff, I’ll Go First, by Laura Tremaine. I am going to ask you the question she asks in the first chapter. I’ll give you my answer first (as she also does) and then I will lovingly encourage and challenge you to answer also. To a friend. In person. Over the Phone. By Text. By commenting to this post. Whatever. Take time to know and be known.
Let yourself answer despite the insurmountable problems or people you are facing today. Despite the long list of adult things that need your attention, skill and time. Because, really, you can’t tell me you don’t have twenty minutes. You may think you don’t, but you do. Believe me, I have been there, on both sides of this claim. I know the time lives in your twenty-four hours, you must claim it as your own.
Did that sound harsh? I meant it to be a tad stern. Claiming twenty minutes is a version of self-care. I want that for both of us.
The question is
Who are you?
Don’t run just yet. I did say I would go first (as the author also does).
But still don’t run just yet. It may be a deep question, but it can be expressed in a few simple ways. The author says, I am asking how you see yourself . . . where you’re from, what your family looks like, what your passionate about. She says to come up with three to five things you would tell a potential new friend over coffee.
What Does My Family Look Like?
I’m a mom to Quinn and Leila. My first born is gentle, mighty, present, humorous and witty, pure hearted and resilient. My daughter is a diamond, physically and mentally strong. She shines and gets me every time with her contagious laughter. I describe them because their qualities, in part, describe me.
I was recently asked by an old friend who is now a single dad – What are your core values when it comes to parenting? I spontaneously shared four things.
- No matter how much money you have, no matter the color of your skin, you can do anything. Treat yourself and treat others just like that.
- Serve others. Go out into the community and find a way to love others.
- No matter the cost, choose integrity.
- Be humble. Offer yourself to God. Offer yourself to others. Choose mercy and grace for yourself and others.
I share my core values because they describe who I am.
I learned the first two from my mom and dad. My mom was a young woman in love with my dad who was a few years older (who was equally in love with her). They are both intensely idealist. I believe their strong commitment to equality comes from their vision of idealism.
They both believe the best and are greatly disappointed and maybe even wounded when others choose a path of darkness or harm. Because, as idealists, there is always a path to freedom, light and peace. They both served their community with their gifts and, as kids, we were part of that intentional effort. I am who I am in my everyday life and as a parent because of them.
No Matter the Cost, Choose Integrity
I learned the third from owning a business and being the practice of real estate law for the last twenty years. If you want to know how questionable my field can be, ask Anna’s mom Suzanne D. We both are real estate veterans, and she tells the narrative better than I do.
The bottom line is that we all have opportunities to take short cuts with our work or take or give unlawful kickbacks/favors. Nothing is won in dark or murky waters. And, I have found that, even when I expected to suffer great loss for choosing integrity, the worst never happened, and God paved a way.
The last I learned from my brother Cameron’s observations of me. He told me years ago, after I was enraged about a movie I had just seen, that it was obvious why I was so upset. I hate the quality of arrogance and that was a character trait of the lead role in the movie. I then realized that I value humility. Hence, be humble.
I have told you about my family of origin, a little bit about my kids. (Never too much because they have asked that of me). My words have told you how I see myself. My core values shape what I am passionate about, which is the last element of the question. Here goes.
What Am I Passionate About?
My passions play out in my LOVE OF SHARING. Emphasis necessary because I love it so much. I love to share through writing, teaching, talking, making friends and encouraging people to become who God created them to be.
I am currently passionate about being in the moment. I have become very excellent at doing in the moment. But I am shifting with great intention to being in the moment. In fact, that will be the topic of my next class. You can do me the great favor of praying for that for me.
Okay, I did it. In twenty minutes or less. I answered, Who am I? Your turn!
Answer with a friend. In person. Over the Phone. By Text. By commenting to this post. Whatever. Just do it!
I mentioned that I had two thoughts for you. The second thought is a verse.
And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.Genesis 2:2
Do this favor for me. Take twenty minutes to answer Who Am I? and then take twenty more before you fall asleep tonight. The second twenty is for your rest. Acknowledge all the work you have done this day. Know that, to God, even if no one else in your life acknowledges it, your rest is holy ground. Take the speckled outcome of the day and give it to Him. And, then my dear sisters, go to bed in peace.