Plane Coffee Mom

Chatting about Mission Aviation over coffee

Tag: thoughts (Page 2 of 2)

February Reflections on Success

At this time of year there is a huge focus on celebrating love, relationships, dating, and “successful” marriages. Since I get to celebrate my birthday in February, I get a big dose of spoiled this month. I enjoy every moment of it! Sometimes, though, when I tell my friends the latest amazing thing Garry has done for me, the response is a look of sadness. I wonder if they’re missing the kinds of things I am privileged to enjoy, but that’s seldom an appropriate question. Still it makes me think.

The other day it crossed my mind that I love Garry because he buys me coffee. Ok, not really.
It’s the fact that though he doesn’t enjoy the stuff, he goes to great lengths to get me good coffee. He goes out of his way when we’re headed to stressful meetings to make sure I have my favorite brew on the way. He takes me out for coffee sometimes, and while he may have a cup of tea or a snack, basically he is there just because I love having coffee with him. So, maybe it isn’t the coffee. Maybe it’s the way he lays his life down for me in a million small ways, in so many seasons and so many ways.

Really, I think this sacrifice is what every successful relationship is built on. It goes both ways, hopefully. It happens often. And maybe as much as either of those, it doesn’t go unnoticed. Because unnoticed acts of kindness and sacrifice are not appreciated. And every relationship has plenty of reasons for more negative emotions, so if we don’t take the time to notice the good things, the hard things can swallow us up.

Appreciating the good is not just for marriage either. It’s every relationship, including our relationship with God. It’s not whether God does good things for us, it’s whether we notice it. It’s not a question of God’s goodness, but of our perception of it. It isn’t about whether God answers prayer, but whether we notice when He does.

Experience tells me it is easy to expect and hard to appreciate. So I am practicing appreciating. And so far, it’s been a good and profitable journey!

Not Enough

I’ve been thinking this week about “not enough”. The perception we have of ourselves that we cannot measure up, we are insufficient to accomplish the things we need to do in a satisfactory way. We aren’t good enough women, moms, or friends. We don’t cook well enough food or keep our house clean enough. We aren’t smart enough or talented enough. Our homes are not enough, our kids are not enough. All in all, we simply don’t feel we measure up to our own standards.

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And despite telling ourselves that we are better than some people, the thought nags us, the reality that we are not all we want to be, we cannot do all we want to do, and we cannot control the things we want to take charge of. Despite telling ourselves that we are better than other people, that we should settle for giving it our best shot, or trying to lower our standards,  we are simply not satisfied.

It’s a worry that nags at me sometimes, though less now than it used to. It began to change one day when I was doing my best to go about my business, cleaning up the house, scheduling flights, raising my boys who were young, and crying tears of anger and pain. “God, I can’t do this anymore!” I muttered under my breath while I screamed in my mind.

You aren’t supposed to.

“What?” I asked the voice in my head.

This, my daughter, is the meaning of grace, of salvation. You were never meant to do this, and you will never measure up. That’s why I sent Jesus to pay the price and my Spirit to work through you. You can rest in that. I AM enough. And you are not.

I stopped short. I wanted to get it right, I wanted to prove I could. Yet, I couldn’t deny that all my trying fell far short. And suddenly the thought was freeing instead of degrading. I wasn’t enough and I was never meant to be. God was enough, and He would accomplish His will through simple steps of obedience.

So, I began on a journey of not telling myself I was good enough, but of reminding myself that “enough” was God’s job not mine. I quit telling my friends they measure up to the impossible standard and began telling them that they don’t, and it doesn’t matter.

I don’t always remember that, and I haven’t arrived at the point of letting go of everything. But I am learning, most days. And in my better moments, I love that fact that none of us is enough, but God is still enough. It’s a freeing journey.

Wondering & Revolution

My grandmother used to say she was tormented in her mind. These days I feel with her, the nagging doubts, the questions, the wondering. In her case, I don’t think she knew the way out. In mine, I know. I must simply take the journey that it requires.

The journey? Looking the doubts, the questions, the wonders in the face and telling the truth about them. And then, living the truth. This moment, this day. And if getting from here to truth is a journey all its own, I take the first step.
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What do I wonder? I wonder about world poverty and the distance between affluence and starving. I wonder about how many clothes are in my closet and how much food we consume every day. I wonder at the millions of things we have access to and the way we use them.
And I see that there are things that can be done. And at some level, I think we must first take care of our own: we must live responsibly in our small circle. We must invest in people in ways that matter and provide what those closest to us need. We must set priority for the generations: a way of thinking and living that can outlive us.
This process of living well is living one step above those surrounding us, maybe. Maybe it is feeding our family healthy food, a value that can be repeated by neighbours and friends. Maybe that is followed by whole, local foods that enable the local small businesses to survive. Maybe this step is accompanied by building community where God calls us…. living with abandon for the least of these. Enabling them to not only survivie but pass on what they learn and what is invested in them. Maybe it grows to volunteering locally.
And maybe worldwide change is powered by our personal revolutions: because our revolution will lead some in our community to actually go overseas and repeat the process. Maybe what God says about the family, the church, and the state is actually true: we grow world leaders in homes with real families and real neighbors and true friends. And for each of us, our circle can grow organically and the world can be changed. Maybe.

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