Tuesday, August 26, 2014

THINGS I WANT MY KIDS TO KNOW: TAKE THIS JOB & LOVE IT

I'm continuing this little series of Things I Want My Kids to Know.  I've realized that all of the topics I've chosen are things that I feel a little "soapboxy" about.  I feel like parenting is one of those things that brings out the strongest emotions and opinions, because at the end of the day - this is our shot as parents.  You only get one go-round with your kiddos, and there are SO MANY things that I want them to know and understand before they leave our home.

I do understand that most important things are caught, not taught, and I'm hopeful that they can see us as their parents living out those things that are most important to us.  And, if there are ever any doubts, they can always reference these blog posts.  Ha!

Dearest darlings of mine,

Someday, I hope that each of you will have the opportunity and desire to be gainfully employed.  I hope that you can dream big and reach for the sky and that the world will be your oyster.  I fully hope and expect that you will each be able to accomplish great things in your own ways and times.  I can already see that each of you have unique strengths to bring to the world, and my excitement grows as I think about all that you will do in your lives.

But - I wanted to write a note of caution to you all.  Pretty much anything worth doing takes a lot of work.  Also - you may not like it all the time.

I hear a lot of people say things like, "Find something you love doing and figure out a way to get paid for it" -or- "Do what you love and never work a day in your life".  I completely understand the sentiment behind these statements and can assent to part of them.  I hope and pray that you look for jobs that are suited to you and that you will enjoy and find purpose in.  After all, you spend a lot of life working.

However, I think the concept of totally loving every aspect of your job and life is not a realistic expectation to set.  ESPECIALLY right after you finish schooling, when the drive towards idealism and self-actualization is like a tidal wave that is easy to ride until you wash ashore into reality.  The best advice that I can give you is to start doing something, anything.  Work hard at it.  Figure out what you like and what you don't.  Learn to be content in whatever circumstances you find yourself in.

Do you hear me?  Learn to be content.

Some things will go your way.  Some things won't.  You can change some things.  Others will be totally out of your control, and the sooner that you quit fixating on those things - the better.

In our life path, we have had surprises and set backs and a lot of hard work.  We are not doing what we thought we would be doing, but it is exactly what God has for us.  We love so many things about it, and there are other things that we are less crazy about.  That is going to be true for pretty much everything in life.  Always.  Find ways to make peace with the things that you don't like and learn flexibility.  (This is something I still have to work at everyday.)

You can read the story of how we got into CFA here, and I can assure you, it is not what we imagined for ourselves.  But, I am so thankful for the life it has created for us, and I know it is exactly where we should be - good times and hard.  Your dad has another saying, "Don't try to change the world.  Try to change your world."  And I see him living it out everyday.  He is changing the world around him through all of the people he interacts with on a daily basis.  It is hard and good at the same time.

Please find ways to be thankful and content.  Those are attitudes that you choose, and the more that you choose them, the more you will feel them.

I am so excited to see what God has in store for each of you, and I know that you will do great things.  But most importantly, you will be great - because you are you!  You never have to earn our approval or love - you are so loved, no matter what.  I can never say that often enough.

(But do know that I will eventually quit bank-rolling your life no matter how much I love you!)

With love forever,    Your Mother

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