How was your weekend? Mine included good conversation with the husband, a successful yard sale, a sunburn that's now fading, an afternoon at church, a trip to the planetarium, and a barbecue at the in-laws. Sure there was an ear infection and pink eye thrown in the mix along with the normal dose of tantrums and pouting, but it's all part of family life. The weekend also included a lot of thinking on my part.
Right now I'm in the midst of self-evaluation. It's report card time in households across America, I suppose, and I'm currently filling out my own report card trying to figure out what areas are going ok and where I need to check the box for "needs improvement." Sometimes that list feels longer than others. It feels pretty long right now.
There are times when I think women are too hard on themselves- caught up in the trap of comparison and unable to recognize all the good that they already are and the things they already accomplish. I know that I've fallen into that trap before. But that is not where I am right now.
There are also times when it's important for me to evaluate how I'm doing, not compared to anyone else, but in terms of my own personal goals. I think it's important for us to hold ourselves accountable in our efforts to improve. I can make a lofty list of things I hope to become or achieve, but it doesn't mean much if I'm not measuring my progress and following up with myself to assess how I'm doing. I'm two weeks away from my birthday. It always seems to be a natural time for me to pull out the measuring stick and figure out how I'm doing in terms of where I want to be in life.
The thing that I forget most often is that life takes work. I don't feel like I'm a stranger to work, but at the same time there have been times in my life that things have come easy to me. But I think since becoming a bona-fide adult, I've left that stage of things coming easy. If I want a happy family, it takes work. If I want well-rounded, respectful, kind, obedient kids, it takes work. If I want a marriage that is above average, it takes work. If I want to learn new skills, I can't just pick things up anymore- it takes work. If I want to serve those around me and focus on others, it takes work- even if it's just work to make time to do those things.
I want all of those things. I have a lot of work ahead. I want to remind myself that I'm not working for these things because I'm not content with who I am or with my current life. I'm working for these things because I know that I am capable of more. I need to remind myself that things worth having are worth working for. I'm working for these things to become the person I have the potential to be instead of living my life as a shadow of what might have been. I'm working for these things as a gift to my family and a gift to myself and a gift to my Heavenly Father to thank Him for the abilities I have to work and to offer Him my will to become who He wants me to be. I'm working for these things because there is joy found in work and I want that joy.