There's a lady at church who is contantly giving me self-help books. She's one of those people who remembers everyone's birthday and never fails to arrive at church armed with a gift on the appropriate weekend before. I arrive with a gift for her sometime in the month after, because, as I've said before, I'm just a rotten friend. But I digress.
Clearly, judging from all my past gifts from her, she believes I need much self-help. (And to read Aretha Franklin's biography, but that's a blog for another day.) Finally, I explained to her that I simply don't read that stuff and in fact, loathe self-help books! First of all, I'm really not at all sure that I would choose to change the same things SHE thinks I need to change, and judging from past results, I'm powerless to change anything anyway. In short, it is my policy to avoid self-improvement books, programs, videos, you name it. Just too depressing to wake up the same ole Queenofthehill, morning after morning, with all the same flaws hanging out there for the world to see and a lot of wasted energy and emotion spent in trying to change the unchangeable. Not to mention that renewed sense of being a failure. Who needs all that negativity???
I really felt pretty dogmatic about this, until this past week. I suffered a terrible blow in the pride department a couple of weeks ago (Dad2Three tells the story better than I ever could) and the ensuing depression and literal nightmares I suffered as a result have spawned something of a spiritual awakening for me that has me thinking and praying a lot more.
This, combined with a recent weight loss of 44 pounds (as of 8/19/08), caused a light bulb to go off: if I could change my habits and my lifestyle significantly enough to lose 44 pounds, what ELSE could I improve about myself if I set my mind to it?
So now there's a world of possibilities.
Will I become a better housekeeper?
Will my children finally complete (or start) the second half of their Saxon Math before I call an end to the school year?
Will I stop obessively checking my email?
Will I stop yelling at my kids?
Will I be a better wife?
Fill in the blank and make suggestions ___________ -- you all know me!
It can really be quite overwhelming. It was a lot simpler to believe that I was impervious to all attempts to change me for the better. But God, in His infinite wisdom has sent me a theme song. Much in the manner that "Wheels on the Bus" or "It's a Small World After All" stick in your head until you want to scream, but still the point was taken. I guess I could accurately label it a "mission statement." Are you familiar with that old hymn Make Me a Blessing? Those are very simple words. I look at my beautiful children, one who will soon be a TEEN, one who is at that peculiar age of 9, and one who is a Really Terrible Two, and I want to drink in every moment of their lives, memorize every funny face they make, and... not make one false move. I want to be a blessing to them. I want to nurture them to be able to meet every iota of potential that is worthy of meeting. I want to create in them warm, fuzzy memories of their childhood and, well, ME! I want them to have warm and fuzzies when they think of Mommy. I do not want them to get a visual of a shrieking fish wife, which is what I am when I'm stressed out -- which is what I get as a result of poor organization and NO planning.
In short, I want to do better by them. Like with so many goals, that takes a multi-pronged approach. To eliminate stress in my life will force a number of lifestyle changes. To create a more enjoyable home and school environment will take a number of other steps. To deal with them in patience will take a completely different set of changes. Can I do what it takes? I would have said "no way" a few weeks ago.
I pray that God will "Make Me a Blessing" to them.