Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Oh Grow UP!

I'm pretty sure just about every kid in western culture has heard at least once in childhood "and what do you want to be when you grow up?" Maybe it was just a kind adult having a pleasant conversation with a child, or maybe it was a classroom assignment where you had to research and write a report about your desired occupation as an adult.

I never did very well with those - either questions in passing, or the written assignments. As a child, I thought like a child and wanted to continue thinking like a child, thank you very much. I didn't have any lofty aspirations of noble career choices, and even thinking about it was a bit too much for me. I wasn't like those kids that instantly piped up "ballerina!" "fireman!" "astronaut!" Please, no one really grows up to be an astronaut. Well, okay a few people do but realistically, just about no one I knew or you knew, ever grew up and flew to the moon, or anywhere else out there in space.

There was always the kid that was going to be a cowboy (snicker) and the girl that was going to be president (cough, cough) and there I sat, the girl that was going to... going to what? I'd come up with silly answers like "marry Barry Manilow!" (or Peter Frampton, it was a toss up) or "become Marlin Perkins' assistant on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom!" Both about as believable as becoming an astronaut, I'm sure. I do however take my camera and run away fro home as often as possible, so there was some truth to that silly answer from a child. Neither Barry or Peter ever got back to me, so I ditched that plan early on.

Just for kicks, I asked my four youngest kids recently what they were going to be when they grow up, and the way they answered made me laugh. Jordan (almost 11) is going to be an artist (she'll be broke and living at home until she's 30), Rachel (9) is going to be a veterenarian (I think she's serious, too), Samuel (almost 8) is going to be a fireman (he'd make a fine fireman), and Ruth (5) is going to be Hannah Montana. Yes, she's serious too, and has a Hannah microphone to prove it. She can sing too, so who knows, maybe she'll do something with that voice she's got, other than to scream blue murder when things don't go her way? She's just 5, so we're all hoping she outgrows that real soon (today would be good).

As I puttered around the house yesterday doing grown up mom things, I wondered how I'd answer that question now. Quite a few things came to mind, so here they are:


I want to be that person that genuinely forgives over and over and over, no matter what the offense. To never ever take it personally or hold a grudge, but to offer a real "I forgive you" and always mean it.


I want to be a person known for mercy to all she encounters. Kindness and acts of selflessness for no other reason or hidden agenda or hope of getting something in return, but just for the sake of being merciful.


I want to be the person that always says and always has an attitude of thankfulness. For all that I have, all that I hope to have, and all that the Lord provides for me daily.


I'd like to be the person that always sees the glass half full, and never sees it half empty. That person that assesses a situation and always finds the good in it, or the potential for good in it.


I want to be that person that has compassion on everyone, all the time. Ignoring all the warts and all the faults and just seeing right to their need and doing anything and everything within my power and ability to meet that need or at least ease their need, in some way.


I want to have enough wisdom that my own kids and anyone else for that matter, can come to me and seek counsel to resolve whatever conflict is going on their lives. Or, enough wisdom to offer such counsel even unsolicited and have it make a difference for God's glory and the edification of His saints.


I want to be that person that someone can always come to in full confidence and assurance that what they share with me stays with me and the Lord. Not only that, but to be known for being that person that means yes when she says yes, and means no when she says no.

While this certainly isn't a comprehensive list, its the one that immediately came to mind. If, someday when I grow up I can be all those things, I'd sure be happy. Since I can't marry Peter Frampton or fly to the moon or be president (not that I'd want to anyway), this is the perfect list for me.

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