I am almost finished with my series on David L. Cook's book "Seven Days in Utopia - Golf's Sacred Journey" and on Day 6, in a chapter titled "Hickory Sticks", everything starts coming together in Utopia.
If you have never read any posts of mine before, then I must confess to you right now that most of my life as a mother I have been so preoccupied with "doing things right" that I rarely got to enjoy my time with my kids. Sound familiar? I have decided that this must change! Though I might always remain a "non-perfect" mom, I am determined to enjoy myself now!
Oh, how I would love to be a great mother! But I'm afraid I am not. So what could I learn from this golfer to get there? How would I be able to apply this same process - to see...feel...and trust?
Reading this book, it seemed to me that this farmer is a bit like Jesus who is urging us to have a relationship with him, so that He can teach us. When I decided to have more quiet times, I could start hearing His gentle invitation: "See me"..."Feel my presence" and "Trust my guidance" - that's the SFT for a mom! Jesus is a very gentle coach and I truly believe that when we choose to trust God and stop living by other people's standards, that's when a great mom is revealed.
But sometimes, in order to get there, we need to climb out of a box labeled "comfort zone", a box that can easily become a self-imposed prison. Much of my early adult years, I have spent developing a performance identity and I cared so much about what other people thought of me that I didn't realize I was building my own prison. I was marching straight into a place where my passion and love for life would give way to an ever demanding fear of failure. For a very long time I have based my identity and self-worth on the shallow opinions of other people. I was a prisoner of what I thought they were thinking of me, whether or not they were actually thinking anything at all! But now Jesus is my defense attorney and He is seeking my appeal! Inside my head and my heart, He reminds me every day that the goal is not perfection, the goal is simply to stay in relationship with Him and to follow His new checklist for me - SEE me, FEEL my presence and TRUST my guidance. After all, the bible says that Jesus' passion is to set people free from prisons (or boxes)!
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't a BAD mother and I didn't only have bad days. But when I planned my overly busy days, I usually got exactly that - just an overly busy day. I chose busyness over peace and togetherness, I chose to ignore the simple way of life and followed the ways of "the world" instead. For many months I knew in my heart that this kind of frantically busy and perfectionistic lifestyle was wrong, but I followed it anyway, because I didn't know how to change. So I pleaded with God, in my first quiet times. Shortly after, I came across this book with a checklist that might seem simple in concept, but it can be rather difficult to put into practice in our daily lives. I have come a long way, since I read this book and some things have finally "clicked". For the first time in my life I understand the idea of "letting things happen". I can't always control the score, but I can control the process. What does this mean? As a mother, I can't always control the outcome of a day or any particular situation, but I can control my behavior throughout it all. I now believe that in motherhood, it's not really the score that counts, but how we behave while we are walking the fairway. My days might still be stressful and nerve-wrecking at times, but I can enjoy any day if I am walking with God. This new mini-checklist of mine called "SFT" puts me into a position where I can have the best day possible at any given time. It doesn't guarantee perfection, it just increases the odds for my having the day I wanted to have. So, you could say that by having more quiet times I have moved the odds in my favor.
I might be no golfer, so I don't need to see, feel and trust my golf shot. But I am a MOM and I want to live life the "SFT" way from now on! I am impressed with the progress it has already produced in my life and if you find it an intriguing idea, I simply recommend that you buy the book! (You can click on the link underneath the photo in Part 1 if you want to purchase it.) We tend to hold independence sacred nowadays when in truth, the hearts of so many moms remain imprisoned, for the lack of wisdom being shared. I have found so much wisdom in this book! But most of it I have found in my quiet times. I have come to God desperate for hope and it has been given. I have also asked for answers to some of my biggest challenges and I have found them. I was in dire need of a mentor and he finally showed up in the form of Jesus. He won't ask for payment, He will only invite you to live life His way and I can testify that He will transform your life for the better in so many ways! I am definitely much more relaxed than I used to be and I have finally started to enjoy my life.
I hope you will join me in a couple of weeks for what might be the last part in this series, but until then...
HAVE A GREAT WEEK!
(Photos are courtesy of morguefile.com)