Sunday, June 23, 2013
Doing Hard Things
My immediate reaction was to start paddling hard to try to get between them and the obstacle. My husband opted for coaching them through it. The kids got clobbered by lots of green leaves, but the current was so slow no one was tipped from the kayak--there were not even any scratches once we picked the cobwebs off of their arms and removed the broken tree limbs from the boat.
As my husband coached the foursome through the importance of teamwork--and not freaking out--I was pondering how to tie their boat to ours for the rest of the trip. While we did put an adult back in to insure our take out point wasn't missed, my husband talked me through why 'bail outs' aren't the best long term strategy.
In the 36 hours since, the little adventurers have relished telling the story of their challenge--and the overcoming.
Today as the foursome completed a triathlon, I found myself in a similar quandary. One of my people experienced some anxiety while waiting for the race to begin. I could read their face. I saw the chest being clutched, the ears being plugged and overheard a comment about feeling sick. Even though I KNOW BETTER, the 'mama' in me wanted to pull the anxious one out of the line with hugs and assurances that they didn't have to do it.
In the short term it makes me feel like a loving, efficient or sane parent (depending on the situation) but this weekend I was reminded to slow down and take a deep breath more often. It is time to be really intentional about coaching my 9 year olds through hard things even though it takes longer and requires more mental/physical/spiritual energy than a knee jerk solution.
There is a temptation to think of motherhood like martyrdom. While true love is incredibly selfless, I pray I can remember that sometimes love looks like not being the hero or the savior. There is a temptation to think of 'love' as always being about making a way...but sometimes love is about getting out of the way. Easy & comfortable is not the goal. Moral, spiritual and physical muscle is built the same way...from work and resistance.
Lord, I pray that You will help me know when to intervene and when to lovingly coach from the sidelines. Keep my eyes focused on You, my ears attune to Your voice and my hands from meddling where You are at work!