Monday, October 19, 2015

Mom-ing Through Faith: On People

The substance of life isn't stuff or success or work or accomplishments or possessions. It really isn't, although we devote enormous energy to those goals. 

Sometimes, it is easy to get caught up in the "Keeping Up With the Joneses" mentality. At least in American society, I think most of us have a tendency to want more, more, MORE. And, as my favorite pastor, Andy Stanley, preached about, to get caught up in the ER. To want to be richER, thinnER, smartER, just generally, bettER than those around us. And then, when we achieve those things, to want to be the EST: richEST, thinnEST, smartEST, just generally, BEST. And hello, as I shared last week, I am an anxious perfectionist who struggles to meet my own goals, my own ERs and own ESTs. Now, don't get me wrong, I think it is good to have goals. I think the trouble comes when too much emphasis is placed on attainment of stuff, and too much devotion to work, and too much effort in achieving goals, particularly when those things are given priority over what matters most, as Jen Hatmaker so brilliantly shares in For The Love:

The fullest parts of my life, the best memories, the most satisfying pieces of my story have always involved people. 

It's true, isn't it? Take a minute and think back over your life. Think of the five happiest memories that come to mind first. Do they involve loved ones? Do they involve time spent with people? Or do they involve attainment of STUFF? I don't know about you, but mine are about people. Mrs. Hatmaker goes on to say

Live long enough and it becomes clear that stuff is not the stuff of life. People are.


When my life is coming to an end, I hope I am surrounded by beautiful, joyful memories of time spent with those I love. I have a feeling it won't matter what I was wearing when I first learned I was pregnant, it won't matter what rug I had in my bedroom the day my husband proposed, it won't matter that I earned a 4.0 in grad school. What I truly believe I will reflect on at that time are the important moments of my life, all of which are defined by the people who were there with me. Stuff is not the stuff of life. People are.

But that being said, I think another point that Jen Hatmaker makes is critical to recognize: 

Conversely, nothing hurts worse or steals more joy than broken relationships. We can heal and hurt each other, and we do. 

Isn't that the truth? Has your greatest pain come from not having STUFF in your life? Or has it come from broken relationships with people? 

We must protect each other. We must protect each others' hearts. And we must teach our children to do the same. Every day, one of my dear friends writes the following on her kiddos' lunchbox napkins: 

Be kind. Be you. Love Jesus. 

Isn't that all we need? Be kind to others. Protect each other and love each other and support each other. Be you. It's not about being better or the best. It's about being you, the exact person God designed you to be in the exact way He did. He chose to create each of us uniquely and wonderfully, not so we can try to mimic others and try to attain their successes and their stuff. But. So we can be ourselves, as ourselves, love Jesus, and encourage others to do the same. 

Because after all, Stuff is not the stuff of life. People are. 

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. John 13:34.

1 comment:

  1. And I am so glad YOU are one of my people. <3