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“Who are you pretending to be?”
I’ll never forget my daughter’s innocent question to our dear friend from church, who happened to be dressed in a chicken costume that night…
Granted, my daughter was four at the time, and the “chicken” in question was normally dressed in a lovely, coordinating outfit. The occasion was Vacation Bible School, and I’m sure there was a very good reason for her to be portraying this role!
The point is, even at a very young age, my daughter recognized that:
- This sweet lady’s look was a little “off,” and
- She was not actually a chicken! She was Mrs. B PRETENDING to be something she’s not.
As I reflect on this, many years later, I wonder how many times we PRETEND to be someone we’re not? It may not even be intentional. If fact, by not being intentional about who we are and why we do the things we do, we can be easily swept up in living a life we didn’t mean to be living.
Are you tracking?
I’d encourage you to take a step back and define your ideal life, in terms of financial, educational, spiritual, relational, etc. goals. Are the decisions and priorities you make in your life now supporting your ideal life in the present and the future? If you’re like me, you realize that those 18 years we have our children at home are THE YEARS to develop your family legacy. After your child leaves home, they’ll be in charge of carrying it on. Are we taking full advantage of our resources to make the most of those years?
Here are some practical questions to ask yourself if you choose to promote an INTENTIONAL family life:
Consider your ideal week.
Does it involve spending time at the ball field or dance studio, cheering on your kiddos? Do these types of activities energize you and your family? If so, seek out a team that supports a healthy atmosphere for your kids to develop their skills and encourages involvement from the team families.
Conversely, do you and your family currently find yourselves running from one activity to another, and feeling worn down?
It might be time to step down from one (or more) commitment for a season. This simple act can bring a sense of balance back to the family.
We all have to eat!
Food has a way of bringing families together. If you had your druthers, do you envision your family cooking dinner together, having your son or daughter develop his or her skills independently in the kitchen, the whole family eating at a nice restaurant once a week, or being more organized with freezer meals? There are so many options and every family is different. If your goal is to eat together as a family most evenings, think about what needs to happen ahead of time. What changes can you implement to facilitate you reaching that goal? If you want to be sure to eat out as a family once a week, what can your family do differently to make that happen? Do you need to clear your calendar or forego another expense?
Spiritually speaking, if you say church attendance, daily Bible reading and devotionals, family prayer time, etc. are important, make them a priority!
Spiritual development (in kids or adults) doesn’t happen by itself! There needs to be a conscious decision to strengthen it and time will certainly be diverted from other activities if this is a true priority. If you aim to raise a spiritually strong child, building that legacy by example is well worth the effort!
Educational, career and financial goals are notorious for attaching meaning to our lives.
Should they? Well…that’s complicated and fodder for another post! The point I want to mention at this juncture is to evaluate the state of your current lifestyle as related to these goals. Is it working for your family? Is it time to make a change? What is within your reach and what do you need to be content with for now?
The moral of this post is to encourage you not get caught up in PRETENDING, when your true core being IS something else!
It is easy to enroll in the same activities your kids’ friends are in, to take the career paths your colleagues are taking, to dress the way all the other women in the neighborhood dress. If that’s YOU, you are all set!
But if it’s just a costume, take the time to define WHO you are and WHY, and don’t think twice about making changes in your family life to start building that legacy!
This is an empowering process to you as an adult and to your children as you teach them to think before making decisions.
“Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10
Gracia y paz,
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