Archive for the 'confidence' Category

What Race Are You Running?

tortoise wallpapers hd (3).jpgThe headlines seem to be littered with people and groups pointing fingers at each other for telling a truth, telling a lie, or not telling enough. So I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon and air my own grievances with the phrase,

“Slow and steady wins the race”

We all know the story of the tortoise and the hare. It’s a story I tell my children and my students in order to model the character traits of persistence, humility, and yes – hard work .

We’ve all known our share of “hares”. Those people at the office or play group that seem to effortlessly live life and are so “quick” with their wit, money, looks, or talents that they make everyone else feel like they’re poking along, struggling to make it.

We’ve also known our share of folks who act like a tortoise. They take their time and think before they speak. They see the big picture and are okay waiting for their reward.

Which one are you?

Both have fantastic traits and they have their downfalls.

So here’s my problem with this “tail” (haha, see what I did there? Homophones anyone!? No? Just me – the English nerd? Okay, moving on)…

The truth is – the hares of this world usually win the races. At least the short ones. They win because they are sometimes loud, pushy, and confident. But do they win every race?

No.

I’ve learned to appreciate the tortoise in my life – my husband. Do NOT for a single minute think that he is weak, slow, or clueless. He is my rock, my guide, and I am in awe of who he is as a man and father.

If you haven’t guessed already, I tend to be more like the Hare in this story. And I have to be very careful not to dismiss or overlook the tortoises in my life because they have figured something out that I am still pondering.

They know what race they are running.

I tend to run, all the time, with everything I do. I go all the way. If I’m not careful I won’t stop, look back, or even consider who I might be blowing past and leaving behind. As age as set in my “speed” has slowed and I am so very thankful.

I still love to be challenged, I love feeling the wind from the energy of a team working on a project or the way my intellectual muscles are stretched when I learn a new skill – I LOVE the race of “new”. But here’s the problem – It’s tough for me to feel like I’ve crossed the finish line.

I finish one race and I’m on to the next. I remember it had been a week since my second book had been published and we were driving in the car. I started talking about an idea I had for a center that would serve immigrant families and students while working with local school districts and Universities. He literally pulled the car over, put it in park and with love in his eyes but exhaustion in his voice he said, “I love you, but sometimes it is exhausting being married to you! When will enough be enough?”

He wasn’t scolding me. He was really asking…because he is a tortoise. He sees what really matters and what I’ve accomplished and he appreciates every minute of it. He supports me 100% but he is my compass and my guide when it comes to knowing what I should and shouldn’t put my energy toward.

You see, in my opinion, the “hares” in our society typically DO win the race (and that’s the real rub with this story line). They get the attention and influence decisions, but sometimes I wonder if they are running the RIGHT race.

I guess I’m just coming to a place where I not only appreciate, but I have started to look for the Tortoise on my team, the Tortoise of the group that will help everyone be steady – and MAYBE slow. But sometimes slow is okay.

Do we need to appreciate and think more like the Tortoise in this story, instead of always rewarding the Hares of this world? Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE a kid who wants to just jump in and pour their energy into every idea that comes into their mind. That kind of energy keeps the Tortoise from falling asleep and being left behind.

So can we agree that this story is great, but there might be a bigger lesson waiting for us within it’s plot line?

No matter how we run the race – fast or slow, consistent or scattered – we need to first ask, are we running the right race?

If we are – it becomes a little less important to emphasize who wins. It’s more about how we help each other finish.

So if you’re a hare and your child is a tortoise – slow down and soak in their wisdom and perspective – it’s quite refreshing.

If you’re a tortoise and you’re being driven to the edge of your sanity by a hare in your life – I would challenge you to let them energize you. They have a drive and imagination that will cause you to find color in even the most grey days.

We need each other. This race can be EXHAUSTING! Instead of comparing how the other is running the race, maybe we should just shout a word of encouragement or sit and listen to each other’s journey.

To the tortoises out there: Be patient with the hare in your life. They mean well and they need your still, constant presence to bring them back to earth when their heads are in the clouds. You need their energy and they need your calm.

To the hares out there: Take time to recognize and appreciate the tortoise in your world. They are not trying to hold you back or slow you down. You need their perspective and they need your energy.

Now let’s get out there and run the race the best way we know how. Keep your head up and keep going because if you’re raising the next generation, you’re already in the most important race of all – you’re shaping the future. I’m here for you and I appreciate you. Slow and steady might not win all the races, but maybe we can all start to ensure we are running the RIGHT race.

On your mark, get set….GO!

 

Dear Momma,

friendsI meet amazing women all the time. Here in my hometown and across the US I’ve seen mommas who are doing a great job and just trying their absolute best to raise a family without raising their blood pressure. This isn’t an easy job…but somebody’s got to do it and thankfully, it’s all of us.

Dear Momma I met on the running path this weekend –

Thank you for encouraging me to keep trying to become a “real runner” – your words of encouragement meant the world to me. We talked about how your kids are small and things are challenging. You asked if it gets “better” or “easier” as they grow and I said yes. I wasn’t lying but I didn’t want to tell you the truth. The truth is it does get easier concerning the physical exhaustion associated with caring for little people who can’t take care of themselves. But the emotional and mental energy it takes to raise elementary and pre-teen kiddos is truly overwhelming at times. I’m currently in competition with advertisements, trends at school, technology and people forgetting that tone of voice means more than the words coming out of their mouths. I remember being where you and you’ll have more “rough weeks” but hang in there. God is preparing you for the future and every interaction you have with them now will help the tough conversations of the future have an impact because you took time to develop a relationship with your kids now. Everything you do matters. I hope you enjoyed your run and thanks again for sharing your extra bottle of water and offering me some yummy candy :o)

 

Dear Momma I stood behind in the check out line –

I have an honest question for you. That whole “I’ll give you a treat at the end if you’re good” bribe…do you still think that’s a good idea? It must have been a rough shopping trip. I’ve had those too. When people are hungry, tired and super frustrating and all you want to do is get your list of food and get out of there – it’s not fun. I have an idea. Maybe next time your kids would enjoy having a job or responsibility beyond what they SHOULD be doing – being good. I don’t get a reward for being nice to the people at my work but I do it because it’s the right thing to do. Maybe the treat used to work and it was a good idea but after what I saw today I think your kids have you figured out and their working harder at wearing you down instead of bettering themselves. You deserve better – hold your kids accountable and they’ll respect you for it. I promise.

 

Dear Grandma at the park –

I had to smile as you gave that toddler your complete attention. You remind me to enjoy each moment and be fully engaged with my kids. I heard you squeal with excitement when that sweet boy made it down the slide all by himself. I needed our excitement today. Thank you for breathing life into my day by just being you and showing your love.

 

Spring has arrived and I am thrilled to see what God is going to bring into my life…the new, the unknown and the challenging things that will come…the only reason I’ll make it through is because I’m not alone. We’re all in this mothering thing together –

Find a fellow momma and give her a smile – you’ll never know how much it might help her…and you.

You’re amazing!

Kasey

This is It!

w2wLet me be honest.

I wasn’t expecting our “Scripture Sunday” from last month to pose such a challenge in my life. You see, I’m currently learning how to do a new job and let’s just say I’m not a fan of starting over.

Have you ever had to start over and leave behind the wonderful feeling of knowing what you’re doing and feeling confident? Yeah – it’s not my favorite.

The “it” I’m currently dealing with is a necessary evil – it’s my job.  I’m struggling to remember that yes, God is faithful and yes, He will take care of my “it” no matter how difficult things become.

To help me accept these statements of truth I’m trying to make sure I do my part and obey scripture. I know God will fulfill His promise – so I’m working on fulfilling mine…

CLICK HERE to read more from my monthly posts for Woman to Woman Magazine – “Scripture Sunday”

Extra Ordinary

HAH-Blog-Hop-graphic (3)-1I love watching news stories where the reporter says something like, “Just an ordinary citizen, doing extraordinary things”.

It brings hope that someone like me, an ordinary mom, can do something extraordinary.

But what IS extraordinary?

Is it saving someone’s life? Donating money to a charity? Inventing a product that changes the world?

If extraordinary means doing something huge or heroic I think I’d like to stick with my nice, ordinary life.

In fact, I think I’d like to have a little EXTRA bit of ordinary in my day – ya know why?

Because if things are ordinary that means everyone is healthy, our needs are met and my life has a balance and purpose to it.

Ordinary suits me just fine. Not because I’m boring or because I don’t WANT to be extraordinary – quite the opposite!

I think extraordinary things happen when ordinary is okay:

1. When I accept my ordinary calling to work inside or outside our home = extraordinary peace

2. When I take time to plan the ordinary parts of my day so I can feel efficient and effective = extraordinary contentment

3. When I accept my ordinary child for who they are and not who I hope they’ll be = extraordinary relationships

4. When I am able to gather ordinary people around the dinner table, without technology, and connect with each other = extraordinary joy

5. When I stay disciplined and reach an ordinary goal I had for myself (physically, spiritually, financially) = extraordinary strength

When I think about ordinary I think about the disciples. You don’t get much more ordinary than a bunch of fishermen and tax collectors – and yet Jesus chose them to be His closest companions and partners in ministry.

God is using me, just like the disciples, to be fishers of men (or pre-teens, babies, toddlers, young adults) and I need to trust that even the ordinary moments can become extraordinary when He is orchestrating the moment. My job is to obey and trust – during the ordinary and extraordinary moments. God’s power is ALWAYS extraordinary, even during the mundane, ordinary parts of my day. When we tap into that power, you and I are changing the world one diaper, carpool and lunch at a time – we can be extraordinary even during the ordinary tasks in our day.

Keep going, ordinary citizen – YOU are doing ordinary, extraordinary things!

Kasey

 


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