"It is imperative to rise to the level of adult and be the expert on your own life...We each have to face struggles, figure out the answers, apply them and learn from mistakes and successes. It slows us down to spend energy looking for experts or paths or easy solutions--instead, we must face the reality that it is supposed to be hard, and go to work doing what needs to be done."
~ Oliver & Rachel DeMille, Leadership Education: The Phases of Learning
Just because it feels hard, doesn't mean you're doing something wrong.
As a peace lover and a problem solver, I spend a lot of time trying to simplify and find better ways to do things in my life. How can I handle home management better? How can I improve my relationship with the kids/with Steve? How can I strengthen my blog reach and traffic?
In the past few months, things have felt harder than usual. Not natural, not flowing. Some seasons of life are just like that.
Instead of accepting this as the natural course of things, each time I noticed a difficult situation, I would push against it. Trying not to let it disturb me, I'd grapple and study and analyze it to death, looking for the "perfect" solution.
Rereading the above quote from Oliver and Rachel's book finally made the light bulb come on for me.
At the core of my analysis was the assumption that hard must mean I'm doing something wrong. But what if that is completely false?
What if hard actually means you are doing something right?
Instead of this being a depressing realization, I've found it completely freeing. Finally I can look at the issues that have bothered me and say "it's okay that it's hard."
It is impossible to live a life of mission and purpose--a life following the divine calling God has given you--and not face challenges along the way.
Previously if a child started whining at the dinner table, I'd go through my mental toolbox looking for what I could do to "fix" the situation, to not let it disturb my peace and comfortability.
Now I look at that child, take a deep breath, and mentally remind myself "It's supposed to be hard. It's okay." I've been amazed at how this simple mantra calms me in a way the "perfect solution" never could.
I didn't realize that as I honed my attention in on the few situations I struggled with--attempting to solve them--I actually tuned out the majority of amazingness that fills, bubbles over, and flows out of my incredible, imperfect life.
Just by acknowledging the challenges and calling them "okay" I've been able to turn my focus quickly back to all the blessings God has filled my life with.
It's okay if it's hard today, mamas. It's supposed to be! You are raising a new generation, giving your all to little ones who may not currently give back.
Don't let the hard make you stumble--it proves you're on the right track.
"Problems are like washing machines. They twist us, spin us and knock us around but in the end we come out cleaner, brighter and better than before."
~ Source Unknown