Change Only Me

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“If we had God’s power, we would change everything. If we had God’s wisdom, we’d change nothing.” Scott Richardson

If you’re a parent, especially a mother, you likely know the feeling when family gathers all together after not seeing each other for a while. Sometimes our hearts are full because of conversation and laughter, meals at favorite restaurants, and activities that keep everyone entertained and happy. These visits end with either my husband John or I saying, “I’m grateful and so proud of each one of them.”

Other times, togetherness worries a mom. When we’re up close, we notice if things don’t seem quite right like tense moments and edgy remarks, frustration, and comments about problems at work and home. I’m no less grateful and proud, I’m just no longer focused on those things. I’m fixated on what needs fixing and changing. It’s a mom thing even if not a God thing.

When our family recently gathered, John and I looked for things to do since we’re better when we’re busy, but hotel checkout and flight times, a get-together with friends, mealtimes, and naps conflicted with almost every idea. The grandkids were waterlogged and worn out after a week’s vacation in pools and beachside before arriving at our house. All six adults sat on looming deadlines whether it was my writing, our daughter getting her daughter ready to start school, or her husband beginning a business startup.

Nothing seemed particularly wrong, but neither did our time together feel right. I tried to justify it with all these reasons.

I preoccupied myself the evening they left with vacuuming, cleaning bathrooms, and washing sheets, so I held off the emotional hangover until the next morning when I skipped my shower, the gym, and writing. That afternoon, I skipped lunch because John and I argued instead of eating, and not because of anything that happened between the two of us during the weekend.

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“Get your own life” (the topic I blog about most often) came to mind two or three times, but it was easier to give into louder voices in my head that said things like, “What if something’s wrong and you don’t help fix or change it?” “What if you discuss your concerns and make things worse?” “What if you don’t converse and drift apart?”

This kind of thinking convinced me I needed to write and talk to others, so I started blogging again in January. I figured I wasn’t the only wife, mom, daughter, sister, and friend who needed to be talked off the ledge for caretaking, enabling, and people pleasing and surely I wasn’t a loner when it came to being overly responsible for others. All this doing for others feeds our attitude of “fix and change everything” when the real difference (the real fix and change) happens when we get our own lives.

This doesn’t mean we have no obligations to our families because we do. I doubt it means we’ll ever completely stop worrying about them either. It does, however, explain why the quote at the beginning of this blog post is significant. Life changing, really.

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Hearing I didn’t have to change anything because God wouldn’t change anything freed me to stop replaying the weekend. I could get back to my own life and my routine.

Hearing I didn’t have to change anything because God wouldn’t change it either staved off feelings of having to do something. It reminded me to accept what is and to acknowledge things happen as they should.

Hearing I didn’t have to change anything because I didn’t know what to change anyway freed me to have family conversations last week – conversations with real people instead of conversations in my head. By the end of each one, I figured out I had nothing to change except myself. Imagine that.

“Whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.” Max Ehrmann (writer of Desiderata)

I used to sign off my blog posts “write where I’m supposed to be,” so we may as well make where we’re supposed to be gratifying by getting our own lives. What do you think?

#GettingYourOwnLife #ChangeOnlyMe

In This Together,
Kim

Photo credit to Pixabay.com.
Thanks for passing along the quote, Iain Boyd.

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7 responses »

  1. Kim, I don’t really know what to say about this piece. I’m still hung up on and struggling with the opening quote. I think part of the problem is that I’m not a mom and so have some difficulty relating to the part about wanting to fix others. Reading this drove home the point that we can write something and it can be wonderful writing, and it doesn’t necessarily resonate with each person, and that’s OK. So I think that’s what I learned from this post, and I know that’s not what you were going for. I’m guessing that moms will really connect with what you’ve said.

    • Mary, that’s a good takeaway since none of us can relate to everything someone else has been through. There was a lot about parenting in this one. That being said, I have to confess I tried to change John a lot more often than I tried to change our kids. Last weekend just happened to be about them. 🙂

      The opening quote is powerful enough on its own! I’m still chewing on it.

      I appreciate you commenting even when it’s a blog post you don’t relate to. ❤

  2. From Facebook (Treasured Woman) ~

    Treasured Woman You are a bright light in the darkness, Kim!!
    Like · Reply · 23 hrs

    Kim Henson I love you too, Karen Dishman Jantzi! ❤ And our sweet group here. You named us well. 😀
    Like · Reply · 1 · August 27 at 8:32pm

  3. From Facebook (Kim Henson) ~

    Anjana C. Duff, Eileen Curran Gillespie and 20 others

    1 share

    Mary Ann Zumpfe Nice one kim
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · August 26 at 10:21pm

    Kim Henson Thanks, Mary Ann Zumpfe. I appreciate your comment.
    Like · Reply · August 27 at 12:20am

    Summer Turner Beautiful, Kim!
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · August 26 at 10:50pm

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Summer Turner. ❤
    Like · Reply · 1 · August 27 at 1:06am

    Patsy Lewis Carroll Enjoyed.
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · August 26 at 11:00pm

    Kim Henson Thanks, Patsy Lewis Carroll. ❤
    Like · Reply · 1 · August 27 at 1:06am

    Donna Feddick Fagerstrom Outstanding! Girl, I so resonated with this. I have been away from "home" which is now Texas (instead of Florida where we moved FROM) who does that? I've been in MI since the 3rd week of June. I was planning to go back Sept. 12 and now my daughter …See More
    Unlike · Reply · 2 · August 27 at 5:26am

    Kim Henson Donna Feddick Fagerstrom, I get it! Your comment, along with last week's sermon, inspired next week's blog post about living out our calling. I began writing it after I read what you posted. ❤ Thanks for joining the conversation because I need to know others understand. 🙂
    Like · Reply · August 27 at 8:32pm · Edited

    Sybil Lee Oh how beautiful
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · August 27 at 9:37am

    Kim Henson Thanks so much, Sybil Lee. ❤ I see your name and think of gardens. Isn't that wonderful? 😀
    Like · Reply · August 27 at 8:33pm

    Beth Stallings Odom SO true !
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · August 27 at 9:38am

    Kim Henson Thank you, Beth Stallings Odom! ❤ I love having friends who understand.
    Like · Reply · 1 · August 27 at 8:34pm · Edited

    Karen Dishman Jantzi Very good, Kim! Every mom struggles with this. Daily surrender helps me. Ly 💝
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · August 27 at 10:25am

    Kim Henson Karen Dishman Jantzi, I'm so happy to know this now. i used to struggle with what a friend called "terminal uniqueness." I thought I was the only one. LoL. Happy to have friends who understand. ❤ Surender helps so much WHEN I remember … usually doesn't happen in the middle of a visit. I think about it afterwards. A tattoo maybe? 😀
    Like · Reply · August 27 at 8:36pm · Edited

    Delilah Lewis Beautiful
    Unlike · Reply · 1 · August 27 at 5:02pm

    Kim Henson Awww, Delilah Lewis. Thank you! ❤
    Like · Reply · August 27 at 8:36pm

  4. Yes, Kim, been there more than once. I realized I cannot change nor control the actions of others early on, but did I really learn from it????? No! It is not only a “Mom” thing but something about personalities who like to be “in charge”. Just my two cents.
    Love ya,
    Annette

    • Oh, yeah, there’s that too, Annette. LoL. That control stuff will get us every time. Maybe I should have titled the blog post “Be In Charge of and Change Only Me.” 🙂 I’ve had my share of issues with wanting to control John and my kids, but I’m tired. That helps a lot with letting go of them.

      Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom … it’s worth much more than 2 cents. Love you too! ❤

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