Be Gentle With Yourself

My hands cover my face as I hang my head in frustration.  I have lost my car keys.  Again.

This is losing keys after a lifetime of lost keys.

I did remember to send in a note to Josh’s teacher, reminding him I’d be picking him up at 9:40am for his doctor’s appointment.  Too bad, I find out when I arrive, that his appointment was an hour earlier.  Missed it.

It’s ok though, I rescheduled.  Unfortunately, I didn’t  look at the calendar first.  I wasn’t available during the time I rescheduled for.  I was planning on volunteering in Will’s class that morning.  Oops.  Forgot again.

“Just write appointments down when you make them. ” says, Drew.

“I did!” I told him.   I just forgot to look at the calendar….

Welcome to years of distraction.  Years of half finished projects and half read books.  Messy rooms and messy cars.  Forgotten appointments abound.  Conversations dart from here to there.  The details are completely overwhelming.  Planning ahead is foreign.  Some call this Attention Deficit Disorder.   I call it really frustrating.  Drew could say the same.   If ONLY I could absorb some of the attention to detail that comes so naturally for my Type A friends.

What a mess.  What a failure.  I’m a mom! I I’m in charge of little people    I’m 37!  When will I get my act together? I can’t get anything right.  The spiral begins.

And tonight, as we begin the drive to the Jesuit Center, Heather gives me words of life and hope.  “These thoughts-they are feelings you have about yourself.  They are not WHO you are.”   I begin to breathe more easily.

A bit of light enters in.

And then, as my Year One group gathers after our chapel service, I am handed  more words of encouragement.  The stories shared are moments of light, moments where Christ breaks through.  From another’s story I receive this.

Be gentle with yourself.



Again, I breathe easier and the light shines a bit brighter.

I head back to my tiny, cozy, warm room and settle in.  I open a gift left for me.  It’s book from a friend.  As I read, I happen upon these words from Joan Chittister.

Life is not meant to be a series of resolutions designed to make us someone we are not.  It’s meant to be a series of explorations which, in the end, finally bring us home to ourself.”

I am Lisa.

I am loved.

I am a child of God.

I am not perfect.

I am not naturally organized.

I will never be Type A, no matter the resolutions.

I will continue to have scattered thoughts.

will continue to fight distractions.

will most likely continue to have half finished projects and half read books.

But, these things are only a part of who I am.  They are not the sum of me. And the next time I lose my keys, forget an appointment or struggle to organize another event, I will think back and be grateful for my community of friends who remind me…

Be gentle with yourself.  You are loved.

It’s our short comings that bring us back to God.

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