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With each New Year, we often begin to focus on how we can improve our lives. How can we be better versions of ourselves? We seek to lose weight, eat healthy, get out of debt, etc. This weekend I listened to a sermon that really got me thinking about New Year resolutions in a different way. The pastor, Andy Stanley, asked, "What breaks your heart? What needs to be done around you?" He continued; "if you really want to become a better person, do something to make the world a better place. Be a means to an end." He shared that “we tend to forget that the people we respect the most didn't devote their lives to becoming the best version of themselves. They devoted their lives to making a difference in the world . . . or in someone’s world.”
That one word was so profound to me. Oftentimes, we feel like the problems in the world are too big for us to make a difference. We wonder how our little bit of time, effort or finances will make a difference.
But, it starts with one person.
These words gave me such encouragement. First, they reconfirmed that my role as a mother to our children does make a difference. There are days, it is easy to lose sight or downplay the importance of this role, yet as parents we can make an eternal difference in the lives of our children. Second, I was encouraged to seek the people in my daily life that are in need; people I see in my neighborhood and community. Who is in need of a smile, an open ear, a genuine heart? Each of us can make a difference and make this world a better place.
We must ask this question daily.
How can I make a difference in the life of someone?
Who is that someone?
You got new sneakers for Christmas and have been determined to learn to tie them by yourself. This week you mastered it and you were super excited. My mama heart loved this moment for you.
Some days you guys drive each other crazy, but most of the time, this is what I see. You love to play together and I often hear your loud laughter from the yard as I am inside prepping dinner. You are 2 1/2 years apart, but just about the same size and have many of the same interests. So grateful for the bond I see you have. No, not every moment is smiles and togetherness, but I appreciate the moments that are so much.
You have always loved to to snuggle and have always been so full of love and joy. So grateful to be your mama.
You were heading out to play with some of your friends when I saw you coming down the stairwell with your soccer ball in hand. This is you right now; always with your ball.
The time change means soccer practice is now under the lights. I wasn't sure how I would like you having soccer practice for the competitive team twice a week for two hours each night, but I have really learned to enjoy this time at the field. Not only do I love to watch you play; but it has been good for me to have time to just sit, to socialize, or to read while you practice. I've really learned to find value in the times we are just still. Time to build relationships or time to restore ourselves are both wonderful things.
We had such a fun day yesterday celebrating my birthday and attending the church Fall Festival. At some point during the night, you all climbed in our bed. This morning you all needed some extra sleep. I loved seeing you each with you faces still painted; reminders of a fun evening. This time of year is so busy, but it is so wonderful to see you all enjoying the fun activities. Childhood is such a brief season and I hope yours will be filled with wonderful memories and traditions.