Should we focus more on our children? Our husbands? Ourselves? Should we give more? Take more? Is there a right way? A wrong way? If there is, are we guilty or in the clear?
The fact of the matter is that life is filled to the brim with questions about life and very little answers. Or, if there are answers, they're all different. It's very unlikely to find one, unified answer for anything.
I recently finished reading 'Grace' by Max Lucado. Max and I, well, we have a good relationship. I sincerely enjoy his books and they are one of the few books that I can say that I've started and actually finished reading in the past five years. This is coming from someone who loves to read, by the way, there just aren't enough good books out there anymore. Anywho; Max and I, we get along. His book 'Facing our Giants' is one of my absolute favorite reads to this day and 'Grace' will probably find it's way onto my short list of favorites as well.
There is a point to all of this, so hang in there. I've been so miserably lonely at times in the last few years that it's really started to effect my attitude and my outlook on life. There are times where Jeremy can just look at me wrong and I'll snap at him, or Henry will throw a tantrum and I have to walk away because I just know I'm going to yell at him. It's hard feeling lonely.
To make a long story short, I know a lot of this loneliness and anger comes from a lack of family, or a lack of concern from the family I have. Matter of fact, my entire family (minus my grandmother, of course) failed to show at Henry's 2nd birthday party. It made me so angry that it took me all morning to get over it. I almost just wanted to cancel because I had put so much work and effort into this party with the thought in mind that I was actually going to have MY family come to MY house and show a little interest for once.
I should have known it was wishful thinking on my part and I tried to play it off like it didn't bother me because I sincerely just wanted Henry to have the best day ever. He wasn't going to care one way or the other if anyone showed up.
I never struggled as much with this issue as I have since Henry has been born. The simple fact that I had no one there and no one to turn to to help with this new little baby just broke my heart. My grandmother, bless her heart, tried her very best. But she never had any children of her own (another long story) and a lot of her advice was just... old. I hate saying it that way, but she wanted me to tie a ribbon with a quarter around his belly to hold his belly button in, and wanted me to wrap him in six blankets every time we left the house. She loves Henry more than anything in this world, but sometimes a girl just needs someone to talk to. A mother, to be exact. And a girl needs someone to depend on, a mother, a father, brothers and sisters, to be exact. I don't have those things, and no matter how hard I try, or how much I'm there for them, I can't seem to make my family be there for me.
So back to this book. I finished 'Grace' and the entire time I was reading it, I was soaking in every bit of love and grace that Lucado kept assuring me that God had to offer. I prayed and prayed and focused on being a person who radiated nothing but grace.
That's when I saw it. It was like something that was always there, but I had gotten so good at ignoring it that I didn't even see it anymore. The family that I so longed for, wrapped within one warm, happy feeling. The answers to life's biggest questions. Whether or not I was doing it right, or wrong. (I was doing it wrong, by the way.)
It was Grace. It was realizing that life is really nothing about the things we usually worry about, but all about the One who gave us life instead. As long as my eyes are focused on Him, I cannot be lonely, I cannot be angry, I cannot be anything but full of praise and thankfulness, love and grace. God's grace radiating from Him through me for all the world to see.
My one word for 2013 was 'present' and I've done really good about being more present with my family, and at work, and in general. But the one person who I was still only giving half myself to was God. I'd pushed him into the back of my mind and only pulled him forward when I really needed Him. It's easier to do than what we'd like to admit. I've already chosen my one word for 2014. Can you guess what it is?
My prayer is that I'll become so focused and present with God in the remainder of 2013 that I will radiate His grace in 2014 in all that I say and all that I do.