It’s a Saturday afternoon and I’m standing before an overcrowded room of sleepy moms at nap time. Before I launch into my speech outline, I give them permission to fall asleep, on the condition they don’t judge me if I slump over the podium in a mid-speech slumber.
A conference for moms–that paradox of exhaustion and elation over knowing we’re not alone.
Here is the outline I used for “The Early Years” workshop. I am still in awe at the response, and how God used feeble words to feed hungry souls.
Four Things I am Not, and One Thing I Am
1. I am not my past
I am not defined by how I was parented or what was said or done to me growing up.
2. I am not an online persona.
Instagrams, Tweets and Facebook posts are a potential danger that cause us to compare ourselves with others and think deadly thoughts, like “What is wrong with me that I can’t do and be all that?” We don't think about the parts we don’t see in those super-personas: exhaustion, burn-out, stress-induced illness and an endless list of reasons you may not want to be that person everyone else admires.
3. I am not my work.
Whether I’m climbing the corporate ladder or bunk-bed ladder, I am not defined by my accomplishments. We have bought the lie that says we are only as good as how much we can get done–on a daily basis, and on the grand scale. Life is about relationship, not achievement.
4. I am not my behavior.
I don’t love my child based on her behavior; I love her because she is mine. Is our Heavenly Father any different? Thankfully He doesn’t have to walk away and count to ten when I blow it with my kids. He loves me because I am His.
5. I am a well-loved daughter (son) of the King of the universe.
When I fully internalize this, I will start behaving as such. Behavior springs from identity. As a Christian, I am a new person because of my identity with Christ's resurrection. This is the gospel. This is what is making me the mom I need to be.
For more on Christian identity, read my book.
(Top image credit: www.ayellowbrickblog.com)