Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Give. Grow. Receive.

A wise friend wrote me last month about a minister who told her that the mission statement for his church is Give.  Grow.  Receive.  Spot on,  I thought.  So complete.

 I want to adopt that mission statement as my own.  Give.  Grow.  Receive.  What more is there really?

He also told her that his church finds that last one ....  the Receive part ....  the hardest.

And when I lay those words beside my life ....I think it's that third one that is out of balance for me too.  Possibly, many of us could say the same.

This past month, when a Monday commitment I had made to another got cancelled, I tucked myself into the big cozy chair beside the window with an afghan and a charming novel.... ALL morning long.  It was deliciously indulgent.  Not undeserved.  And I loved every minute of it.
BUT .... that is rare.

Now that I am retired, I do have entire days where I can give myself those delightful breaks....but other than trips away,  I rarely schedule them into my calendar like I do the lessons or the volunteering or, or, or!  Even when I know how important that is to do.

As excuses, I have a litany of blather....
             I still want to contribute... to make a difference .....
             The needs are so huge, after all ....  
             It's important to keep learning and growing and not stagnate...
Blah dee blah.  But I venture there is something unsaid here.

I simply think it is dang hard to receive. I struggle mightily to give myself permission to receive... even from myself.  Growing up, when I'd wrestle with a decision, my Mother would weigh options with me, but often say, "Well, you don't want to be Selfish!"

And then there's that whole other level ....  ASKING to receive from others.

Talk about being vulnerable. To say.....I am really struggling, could we go to coffee and could you simply listen to me?  Or.... I have a rotten cold,  could you make a meal and deliver it this week,  or pick up the kids, or the groceries, or walk the dog?  My head says,  How presumptuous of me!

Am I saving the ASK for when I truly have a need ..... am hospitalized with a terminal illness or lose a loved one?  And while I wait for that day, do I miss out on the authenticity and community that comes when we ask and receive on a more regular basis?   Do I lose out on the fullness... the wholeness perhaps, of my relationships ... am I limiting their depth and richness when I make this choice?

It's a good thing it's the dead of winter.  I have lots of time to wonder about this.  I am putting myself on Time-Out.

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