Have you ever desired that things were different for you than they currently are?
Yes, you don't really have to answer that, for I know that EVERY one of you feel that way or have felt that way at some point in your life.
I find that I struggle with shyness.
For those of you who know me here in Arizona, you may find that a bit shocking.
Even those of you who knew me in New Mexico may be surprised by that revelation.
However, it was a defining characteristic that influenced many of my growing up years.
I regret some of the limits I placed on myself, and find myself striving to push my children to try things outside of their comfort zone.
That being said, I am also pushing myself to do things and creating opportunities for myself that are beyond my "safe place".
To say that I am a hermit would be overstating the situation a little, but I find it VERY easy to justify the need I have to be in my home...which will never be as clean as my perfectionistic nature desires...especially in light of the fact that I have 7 children to help keep on track with their chores and laundry.
There are always errands to run, groceries to be purchased, spills to be wiped up, dusting to look at and put on my "I'll get to that tomorrow list".
Meals not only need to be cooked, but the dishwasher consistently needs loaded or reloaded, and while the kids are quite thorough at taking care of that, often there is a second or even third load that needs to be run while they are at school.
I could go on...but I know any woman reading this will understand the ongoing list I keep in my head and strive to accomplish on a regular basis.
Essentially, any socializing that I do comes down to making a conscious choice to ensure it happens.
I have mulled over the idea of knocking on a neighbors door multiple times, desiring to build that friendship.
Every time, I have found a reason why I shouldn't extend myself.
And you know what?
Last week I found out she was moving, and I was selfishly sad.
Sad at the missed opportunity to learn and grow from her.
Sad that I had chosen, repeatedly, not to step out of my comfort zone and make an effort to be more open.
Sad that I had not strengthened a friendship when I had the chance.
I can't change what is past, but as I have dwelt on what I could have/should have/would have done differently, the thought that repeatedly comes to my mind is this,
"BE THE CHANGE YOU WANT TO SEE."
And so, that has become my current motto.
Even when it's not easy, I'm working to have people over to my home, even when it's not perfectly clean (which it never truly is...that's why doors are shut and I don't invite people upstairs too often).
I'm pushing my boundaries by inviting friends here to stamp with me...create cards and enjoy others company.
I'm calling and setting times for get-togethers that I've always pushed off in the past for whatever reason.
I'm making the effort to create and send out "good mail"...trusting that more than just me wants to receive something other than a bill in the mail.
I know this motto, this mantra, this new way of living my life is not just random happenstance.
It is a prompting...a gift from God.
And I thank Him for the change it is creating in me.
Do you have a current personal motto?
If not, will you find one?