The Gap

The gap between what I write and a who I am is narrow but sometimes I see it. Sometimes I see something about parenting, marriage, or even our little farm, so clearly when I write about it, but I have to practice hard to achieve it in my own life.

Things like the pause – I can write it out, I can put to words how and why it is so important. I see it clearly. And I practice it often, but sometimes I fail to practice that pause. It’s not because I don’t want to pause or because I stopped seeing it as important or necessary. It’s not because I want to write about something I don’t do all the time or write-up some impossible, perfect standard for living.

This gap is real and it nags at me sometimes to stop writing. It calls to memory many times that I’ve failed at doing what I’m writing about, and tells me that I then have no business sharing what I think.

But I’m learning something interesting. If I stop writing where that ugly voice tells me there is a gap, I stop writing all together and the gap between my idea and my practice grows. Yet, if I continue to write despite the gap, it seems to narrow. I seem to be able to put into practice more consistently what I’m writing about, the ideas I have. I am able to bring them to action in my own life more often.

The more I write, the more I become who I want to be instead of staying as I am. This is exciting to me. To be able to see the direction I want to go, and to see how my writing influences that I take the steps that direction for real.

Oftentimes, I put my fingers on this keyboard thinking I’m going to make a revelation to the world, but most often, I make one to myself. And I close the gap between who I am and who I want to be just a little bit more.

Until next time,
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Who Are You?

Counseling is a big part of our life these days. One of the things our counselor brought up was that kids “this age” don’t know who they are, or what they like, or think of the world.

That got my wheels turning (like that’s news). I got to thinking of all the journals you can buy that have X amount of questions for a person to answer. Why aren’t we having kids do these?

But honestly, for as much of a nerd as I am, and as much as I love filling things like that out, my kids are not just like me. And I have yet to discover a love for writing in any of them. (Of course, cause that’s just how it goes, isn’t it?)

Well, we try to ask around dinner time what everyone’s favorite part of the day was. It’s been a fun way to hear what stands out to each of them. One person starts it (usually whoever can blurt it out fastest), and they ask someone specific. Then when that person answers, they “pass” the question to the person of their choosing. We started throwing in other questions, some serious, some silly, some super hypothetical, but questions to keep us talking and connecting. The game of questions has become part of our car rides, chore time, and meal time. t shirt

One of tonight’s questions: If you could only wear one color shirt for the rest of your life, what color shirt would you choose?

Tonight, as we were driving home passing a question around, and I was once again considering one of those journals (or making my own for my crew) something profound hit me. Answering questions in a journal is helpful in uncovering, discovering, and recovering who we are. It is something that can help us peel back layers. But one of the things that has best helped me learn who I am are conversations I’ve had with people. Close friends, acquaintances, and even random people who I’ve never met before. Questions asked spur me to consider something I’ve never considered, rarely considered, or consider a lot. It sharpens my knowledge of me, and of the world around me. And in turn, asking questions helps me understand who someone else is.

So, I’m going to put the idea of the question journals aside. Not because the questions are bad or the format is bad, but because I think we have the best chance of discovering who we are together. I don’t think it is a singular activity, this peeling open of oneself. I think it is best done in community, with peers and mentors. I also think it is something we should prayerfully consider – who we are, who our kids are, who our spouses, friends, coworkers are. No one knows better than the One who created us.

So the questions will continue, and I will continue to discover who they are and offer them the opportunity to explore who they are. And we’ll talk about who we are becoming – so when we are stumped, we can ask who we are becoming to help us figure out things about ourselves now. It’s a thought process that is helping move me to action and focus my time and energy as I move forward day-to-day.

Until next time,
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A prayer to share:

Dear God,
Help me uncover who you made me to be. Help me to discover the things that make me, me. Help me to recognize how the things that matter to me, connect me to You, so that I can love you and serve others effectively. Give me guidance and wisdom as I help my kids learn who You made them to be. Remind me to always point them toward You. Inspire me to ask questions that, regardless of how silly, peel back the layers and help them truly know themselves. Thank You for giving me this job of training up these precious kids.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.