Friday, January 18, 2008

Something to Ask Ourselves...

As I was out of town over the last couple of weeks, I was challenged by something that I want to pass along to you.

As women, in this increasingly competitive, success-driven, comparative world, we are often tempted to measure ourselves by what we DO. Whether single or married, with or without kids, in a career or not, or in whatever hobbies we choose, we often measure the relative success or failure of a day, week, or even year by what we have DONE, and what we have accomplished. Even among stay-at-home-moms, there are often "levels" of success that we may feel compelled to live up to.

A few examples:

  • "I got three loads of laundry done today while chasing after my toddler! Well done, mama!"
  • "I finished the report that the boss needs for next week."
  • "I made it through a whole week cooking for my family without falling back on fast food."
  • "I exercised 3 days this week."
  • "I beautifully scrapbooked my child's first eightteen months of life."
  • "I read through the Bible this year."
  • and on and on and on...
We can sometimes tend to measure how well our days, weeks, or years go (and by extension, judge ourselves) by what we do.

But here's the thing that challenged me, that I hope will challenge you as well:

Instead of asking ourselves, "what am I going to DO today?",
we should be asking, "who am I going to
BE today?"

And set our goals accordingly!

For example:
  • I'm going to be a respectful and happy wife to my husband.
  • I'm going to be a woman who meditates on the Word of God daily.
  • I'm going to be a responsive and affectionate mother for my child(ren).
  • I'm going to be a diligent student.
  • I'm going to be a woman who offers grace instead of judgment to the people around me.
  • I'm going to work efficiently (as unto the Lord) on what needs to be done at work/home today.
  • I'm going to be a woman of prayer, lifting up concerns throughout the day to God.
  • and on and on and on.

Does this shift in thinking help you as much as it helps me? I hope so! It helps me to think of the kind of character I want to have (which will then translate into the actions I choose), rather than focusing on the actions themselves. And of course, none of it is possible on our own. We can't "muster up" a gracious spirit or a responsive attitude, at least not consistently. But we CAN be any and all of these things when we are prayerfully submitted to God as women.

Let me know what you think, and if this new question/way to evaluate ourselves is helpful for you.

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