Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Rediscovering Your Worth

Since Baby has been home there have been lots of conversations but none as poignant as the one we had recently….and one she also wrote her own blog about (included below).
Baby’s recent blog entry:
I sit here and I start to realize some things that I probably wouldn’t like.
Just another “risk free, 30-day trial”. Think with me now. You buy something, BUT you have 30 days to try it out. If you don’t like it, hey, you have 30 days to return it, risk free and free shipping. You get it, first day it’s great; and so on and so forth. But after 29 days, it gets old. You start to wonder if you can/could have gotten something better for that money….so you return it. They pay for the shipping and you have nothing else to worry about. I think that the saddest thing about this statement is the fact that this is the story of my life… I’m just another “Risk free, 30-Day trial”.  I am always with guys that care about me, and want me as soon as they see it. But, after “30” days, they don’t want it anymore. They think that life could be better with something that might have come their way. That nothing else could have paid for the things that they didn’t have. Well….work harder make more money, buy what you want with the money that you wouldn’t have had if you just kept that trial. Don’t return that awesome product that physically and mentally could have made such a change in your life. I go through guys, like most people go through underwear. Sounds bad….right? But the only “bad” thing about it, is that I’m not the one that chooses when the trial ends. I just sit back, and wait. Because I know that sometime soon this all will end and the free shipping will be paid for. The free shipping in tone, being that the fact that my parents are always the ones that are paying for “my shipping” home. I sit and I wonder….when will I get my chance to be that item that they WANT to buy that they DON’T want to return?
Please….let me be the product that one certain person, not only wants,  but needs in their life. No free shipping. You buy it…you get it. No strings attached, no trial.

Her happiness has always been dependent on other people or “stuff”. No matter how much I have tried to dissuade her from that mentality in the last two years, it has continued to be the case; and then I realized… she was doing exactly as she had seen me do her entire life. My happiness was always in direct relationship to the things I owned, the men I was with, the job I had, or the money in my bank account. I thought about it even more and noticed that not only did my daughters learn from my actions, they soon started to figure out that they were only worth as much as the name of the labels I bought them or the amount of money I gave to them; not the love or time I gave to them. It is hard to admit this to myself let alone put “words to paper” but it is all part of being transparent in Him and trying to be the spokesperson He created me to be; even if it is through my own family.
My daughters only wore name brands and got allowances and cell phones before they should have. Instead of spending time with them as teens, they were thrown elaborate birthday parties, bought cars, or given money. I never made them feel like I wanted to spend time with them and they didn’t seem to mind that that money in their pocket was a replacement for my absence….little did I know how wrong that was. In reconnecting with my daughters, I am learning that they did care that I wasn’t around; feeling forgotten, left behind, or made to grow up faster than they should have.
I now know that everything happens for a reason….even bad things end up being for His glory. I am grateful for all that has happened and see that Baby is coming around to realizing that the last year too. She saw things that happened due to her actions and those made around her, she learned from those mistakes, and even vowed not to let them happen again. I know, from my own past experiences….that it is easy to make those revelations but harder to learn and apply those lessons when given the opportunity.
Baby felt like nothing more than an item purchased from an infomercial on late late night TV; something that looked great before purchase, a novelty after receiving, and after a month (or less) had resorted itself to the top shelf of a closet or returned altogether.
My oldest daughter Alyssa is a nanny and she recently lost her job due to the family she was working for, relocating to Texas. She has had to learn the value of rediscovering her worth in a very literal way….when determining what to request for an hourly/weekly rate in seeking a new family to work for. The best part (for me) in her revelation seeking….is that she has called me a few times a week to chat about it; her excitement in what she wears to interviews, the preparation of her portable “nanny bag” of goodies, the temporary assignments she has been offered, and the “test drive” opportunity that is coming up at the end of this week. I love that we have reconnected in time for me to share this with her and just like the blog that Baby wrote in her own rediscovery… it is great to learn from the rediscovery that Alyssa is going through also. Being a writer, I am constantly looking for hidden meaning or analogies that Jesus uses through life experience and I didn’t have to look far this time.
Just as I mentioned at the beginning of this entry…I used to think my worth was determined, in part….. by the labels I wore, what others did for me, the stuff I had, or the amount of money I made. Now….to no credit of my own, I am seeing how Alyssa is now rediscovering her worth and it is awesome to watch. She doesn’t worry about labels but picks her clothes by how confident she feels in them (and the fact they are roomy now that she is steadily losing weight lately). I love that her portable “nanny bag” of goodies was something we talked about together; me getting to help her see her strengths and put them into a bag to share with potential families to hire her. She loads a bag with puzzles, coloring crayons, books, and toys but I see it as a walking 3D resume of all that she is capable of.
I wasn’t much of an example for my daughters growing up but am happy to be included and enlightened with all that they go through and learn from each experience now. I have three daughters and they are all in various stages of believing in God or in their own relationships with Jesus; just as my two sisters and I were for many years….YET my mom and dad never gave up on us or the hope that we would “come around”. Mom once told me that she didn’t always know what I was going through (or wanted to know for that matter) but she always knew that Jesus was with me…..even when I wasn’t receptive to him or what he had to offer; because, as it turns out…. I didn’t have to be. I am certain my mom knew of quoted Romans 5:3-5….clinging to that with each day I ignored birthday cards, didn’t return phone calls, refused to visit or write letters/emails.
“Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character, and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
Oddly enough…. One of the first emails she wrote to me that “clicked” and began our reconnection was from Jeremiah and one that I, myself, cling to even today.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:11-13
I don’t know all that my daughters are going through but I know that they are not alone. I am grateful for their journey in rediscovering their worth and know that even if I didn’t have a hand in how they have grown up or what they are becoming….Jesus is in every situation and is guiding them in all they do.
What are we worth?
“We are God’s masterpiece, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
What is the definition of masterpiece?
-       Noun
o   A person’s greatest piece of work, as in art.
o   Anything done with masterly skill
o   A consummate example of skill or excellence of any kind
Sounds pretty valuable to me.   =D