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.

 

Kindness Abounds

Dear Regina,
How did you get to be so amazing? And when can we get together for coffee? I love that you are doing this. You are smart, talented, and so sincerely tender.

Laura
Luther, America

Dear Laura,

You are sweet and kind, your words mean so much to me. I can’t wait for our coffee date next week!

As for how I got to be so amazing – I don’t know. I want to deflect and avoid even answering, because the truth is, I have a really ugly way of talking to myself and a nasty inside voice that says I can’t/shouldn’t/don’t measure up. He is loud and a little frightening at times. Sometimes, though, I stomp my foot and stare him down, telling him he doesn’t get to decide everything. And for a moment, I feel brave enough to take on something new and exciting, like this.

I’ll see you soon!

With Love,
Regina W.

Just pondering…

I am ever so slightly digging Pinterest and the cool things I find there – and I have a new goal. To try a new recipe or DIY craft/project at least once a week – instead of just looking at all the pretty pictures. Wish me luck, because I’m not so great at following through with these kind of goals.

While on Pinterest today I found a link to this site: http://zachterry.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/50-questions-to-ask-your-spouse-on-a-date-night/ and as I read through the questions, something really stood out to me.

I am dating, or at least, trying to date. I have spent the last couple of years going through many ups and downs in life, and I have, at times, been very lonely, and at other times I haven’t felt like dealing with any one else in my life. Lately, I’ve thought more about relationships and I know I would like to find someone to share my life and time with. In the process of getting to know people, we ask questions. I firmly believe that asking questions helps us get to know the other person and keeps the conversation going. Yet, as I read this post, it made me realize it doesn’t just matter when you are first getting to know someone. By asking questions all the time, even after spending much time with someone, you will stay up to date on who the person currently is.

People change. We grow, our tastes change, our favorites shift, and our overall view on life changes. Yet, all too often I’ve seen in relationships (and even been guilty of doing this myself…) that we get used to the other person liking something a certain way and never consider that they might change. Then, that person’s preference changes, and they aren’t sure how to express it – so they are stuck living in an old preference, feeling like they are not heard, and we are too busy to notice and too accustomed to the old preference to even really consider it.

I’m not an expert, and I won’t ever claim to be one. And I think this problem occurs in more than just marriage relationships. Friends go through this, siblings, and even parent-child relationships go through this. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve expected a certain reaction from my Mom, only to get a completely different one. Honestly, I spent a lot of time believing that she was “thinking” the way I assumed, but just trying to “be cool” with her reaction. Not true, my Mom has changed a lot from the woman she was when I was growing up. And my kids change all the time – I think something is a favorite, only to try to do it with them/feed it to them and find out they can’t stand it anymore.

Give the people in your life a chance to grow and change, and enjoy that with them. Ask questions all the time, even if you think you know the answer. Knowing someone isn’t something that only happens when you first meet, but rather you can spend your entire life getting to know someone if you’ll put forth the effort.