A few weeks ago, I read The Prayer of Jabez by Bruce Wilkinson. It was a short, very interesting read that detailed the story of Jabez in Chronicles, his powerful prayer, and how to live a fully blessed life ourselves. So, I started praying the prayer of Jabez every day for myself and my family, for our church and our pastors, and for everyone who asks for prayer.
Right now, I'm gonna pray it for my dog as she is emitting an odor that suggests she may have consumed a cadaver. I sometimes pray for my animals. Some people think that is crazy, and maybe it is. I don't think God censors the things you can talk about with Him though. "It's Friday, and I, the Almighty ruler of the universe, am not taking prayer requests for stinky dogs." When I say that I imagine that God sounds like the Wizard of Oz, you know, behind the curtain before we know that the Wizard's just the door guy. That's how the God from my Catholic childhood sounded. And sorry, if you haven't seen The Wizard of Oz, I just kinda ruined that for you.
Phew. Sorry, imagine that, I strayed off topic.
Refocus. My beautiful friends help me realize that it's okay to be okay with where you are and who you are. I don't mean settling for mediocrity, but for instance, I think I've mentioned a time or two that I don't like to run. Yet, in preparing to turn 40, I set a goal to run a race with my family. Chloe loves to run, and Brad runs but doesn't really love it. In a recent conversation with my pastor's mom (who is my age; my pastor is 18--kidding), she said that her workout consists of meeting a friend at the gym and casually using the elliptical and talking. "Sometimes we don't even sweat," she said. Wow. I don't like to sweat. I don't like to run. I will make a sign and cheer for Brad and Chloe and my brother, and I will drink coffee and snuggle with my little kiddos because I like to do that. And I'm good at it. Yes, I'm good at drinking coffee and snuggling. I'm not trying to be a runner anymore.
So, I'm gonna give myself permission to be better at the things I'm good at and to let go of the things (most Pinterest crafts) that I generally suck at. Fortunately, my dear little friend from church is super creative and talented. She makes beautiful crafts, and for a nominal fee, she'll make something fabulous for me, and I remain free from glue gun burns.
I'm also giving myself permission not to weigh 110 pounds. Ya heard. My friend, Jen, is very thin, has two kids, eats like a 300 pound man, and has an underactive thyroid (yes, I know the difference, and no life is not fair.) She runs too. Not on a regular basis, but like, "Oh, I think I'll run a half marathon," every once in a while. And she does. The more I type the less I like her. (Kidding, again. I brought my A-game, Rivera) But, I am not made like that. I like to eat, but my body flaunts my love for food. That is O.K.
Initially praying the prayer, I believed that I was going to be stretched in all sorts of ways: running, crafting, writing, gardening, building, redecorating. But what I found instead is that God narrowed my focus. He gave me more people to talk with, listen to, and learn from. He gave me more people to encourage, pray for, and, gulp, forgive. He reminded me to focus on my gifts not someone else's.
One more thing. For years, we have prayed for Peyton to grow. He went to high school this year and told me, "Mom, I'm the smallest kid in the school." That hurt my heart. Over the years, we've prayed, bought nutrition shakes, set eating schedules, taken vitamins, and then, as I prayed the prayer for him over and over, God impressed this on my heart: "I made Him exactly how he is supposed to be." When I shared that with him, I was rewarded with a full mouth dimpled smile, and we changed our prayers--not that he would grow but that he would be comfortable in his skin and that God would accomplish great things through him, exactly the way he is.
Please don't mistake this is my attempt to start a slacker movement where we all give up trying to better ourselves. I'm just trying to be a better me and encouraging you to be a better you. But I'm not trying to be you. And please don't try to be me, even though my mad snuggling skills are enviable. Be you. God Bless.