My wife, Jill, looked at me and said, "I see that Jeremy sparkle back in your eyes!"
"Alyssa got her first tooth today"
"You need to put that in her baby book!"
"Look at this cute picture I took of the baby playing..."
"You need to frame that!"
"She said the funniest thing today..."
"You need to write that down!"
When I was a new mom there was a phrase I came to despise. Can ya guess?
You. Need. To.
Don't get me wrong - I realize friends and family, other moms, and the occasional complete stranger were just trying to be helpful. Honestly, I've probably used the phrase myself.
But, why all the pressure to record everything?
I think it's about regret. We don't want to REGRET not writing it down or framing it or recording it in some way for future generations. In fact, we don't want to REGRET anything! We don't want to regret saying the wrong thing or NOT saying the right thing. We don't want to regret doing the wrong thing or NOT doing the right thing. We don't want to regret the fact that we regret too much!
Is it possible to live regret-free? Of course not. Who has the time, budget, or brain space to grab hold of every chance to do the right thing, make a memory, and always avoid making the wrong choice? Not me. Eventually, I’m going to mess up.
And, I'll regret it.
Last school year my daughter had trouble staying in bed. It had been several nights in a row of tummy aches that seemed to come conveniently at 7:30pm. Finally, we laid down an ultimatum… stay in bed OR ELSE. The “or else” was a punishment we were certain would keep her in her room. It didn’t. In an hour, she was back with a report of a tummy that hurt like a broken leg. We followed through on the punishment and it was a horrible night for everyone. Fast forward two days later to us sitting in the doctor's office, finding out she had strep throat. Guess what was her first symptom? A tummy that hurt like a broken leg. Oh, how I regretted punishing our sweet girl for being sick! My husband and I apologized lovingly and explained that sometimes parents don’t get it right. Really, isn't that all we could do?
What's the benefit of letting regret linger? Doesn't it just want to take us down the road to shame? Let's not go there.
For me, 2013 isn't the year of "NO REGRETS". It's the year of fewer regrets. With God's help, I'll love freely, make mistakes, openly ask for forgiveness, and move on to live another one of my quirky days as best I can.
How about you?
Tell me one way you’ll live with fewer regrets this year and you could win some free music! I've got the latest stuff from TobyMac, Matthew West, and the WOW Hits 2013 double CD. Comment away...
If you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ...you serve a BIG God. Big enough to cure and fix anything with the "snap" of a finger. A person wrecked by depression can go from being closed up in his home, not able to work to being free just like that.
God has usually not chosen to operate that way in my life. He usually has chosen the "slow and steady" route. Honestly, at times it drives me crazy!
My struggles with perfectionism and people pleasing have been a lifelong thing. There have been moments I've had big breakthroughs because of something a friend has shared with me or a word from a counselor, but overall the growth has been slow and steady.
During the times I get frustrated at the lack of dramatic change day to day, I have to remind myself to take a "big picture" look at what God has accomplished over the last 3, 5, or 20 years in my life. As the saying goes, we often can't see the forest for the trees.
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love."
I hope you'll join me in leaning into the work God is doing each day and remember He's with us through all the ups and downs. It's sometimes in the deepest valleys we can sense Him the closest.