My middle-school daughter stood at the podium, reading into the microphone. Just her – in front of 800 fellow students.
‘Slow down, honey. Oh, slow down.’
That’s what I was thinking as I watched her this morning. She shared her own thoughts printed on an index card, about why she loves her school. She was breezing through them so quickly I was afraid she couldn’t be understood, and worried that her dad wouldn’t be able to hear her clearly on the video I was trying to make with my phone.
She was nervous.
And she had told me she would be.
“You’ll be fine,” I tried to reassure her, “You’ve done this before.”
She’s often been selected to read at church, and she’s enthusiastically volunteered to dance in the end-of the-year talent show.
But now she’s 12.
And middle school is different. Isn’t it?
Sometimes I think we enter middle school….and we never leave it.
There is a constant pressure to change from who we naturally are into something else.
Something cooler and better.
Think about it: The world is bent on convincing you that you are not doing enough to make yourself feel great, look perfect, be organized, love effortlessly, and live carefree. We, as a society, are literally paying billions every month in an attempt to buy this mythical life for ourselves.
Even in my work – writing – there is pressure to do more, and be more, than I am. In the so-called “blogosphere,” bloggers ‘should’ publish all the time, grow an audience, and create products.
The fact is, I may not be doing enough for you, friend. Every time I publish a post, I can see whether someone has “subscribed” or “unsubscribed,” and the latter gives me pause.
I want to encourage.
I want to share stories that make people smile.
I want to write words that count.
I want to do something that matters.
Don’t we all?
To do this – to live in a way that MATTERS – requires slowing down, and listening with every breath to the One voice that guides me toward my true purpose, which is to serve others out of a deep gratitude to the One who gave me life.
I am in a place of reflection about this blog, friends. I’m wondering how I can better serve you as my readers.
Please take a moment when you have some free time to write me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your thoughts with me. I welcome them.
In what areas of your life do you need encouragement? What do you need to hear more of? Less of?
And bear in mind the words of Romans 12:2, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (ESV)
Slow down. Embrace yourself. You are loved.