Saturday, January 31, 2015

10,000 Hours

I've been hearing and reading an interesting tidbit of information.  Apparently, it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become world-class at something, anything.

That got me to thinking... 10,000 hours...  at 10 hours per day, that's about two and three-quarter years.  At the other extreme, one hour a day, a bit under twenty-seven and a half.

I guess here's the thing.  I'm going to be doing something for those 10,000 hours, right?  What will be my world-class skill?  Rocking-chair jockey?  Homeschool mom?  Wife?  Loving individual?  Servant?

I would imagine that 10,000 hours needs to be deliberate, a choice.  One that includes learning new skills, acquiring a deepening knowledge and understanding of the skill at hand.

I guess it's mostly a wake-up call.  Assuming no ill health, and no insomnia, I'll have been awake for 10,000 hours by (roughly) 1 November 2016.

What will I do with those 10,000 waking hours?  What goals, dreams, skills will I work on?  Where -- and who -- will I be 10,000 waking hours from now?

OK, enough philosophizing for now.  But it is an interesting thought to ponder, isn't it?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


Dear Fellow Moms --
I see you in Target, in Wal-Mart, at the library, in the grocery store.  I see your online comments and blog posts.  You have a small family, a big family.  You breastfed, bottle-fed, or some combination.  You vaccinate, or don't.  You work outside the home, or are a full-time homemaker.  You homeschool, public school, private school your kids.

Your decisions are different than mine, but made for the same reason -- you are doing what you believe best for your family and children.  You are struggling with your choices, worrying that you are going to permanently ruin these amazing short people that God has entrusted to you for a time.

You sometimes cry yourself to sleep at night, worrying that one of the loud critical voices in the mommy wars will be correct, and you will wake up one morning and your children will hate you.

You are tired, tired of having the same conversation every single day.  Listening to the same fighting at the breakfast table.  Of teaching the same lesson for what seems to be the 437th time this school year.

Mostly, though, you are tired of having to defend yourself against attacks that come from people who do not know what went into the decisions your made, the research, prayers, tears, and finally surrender.  The faith that you cling to that God is ultimately in control, and that your decisions will honor Him for that reason.

I see you.  My decisions may be different than yours.  The particulars of my life are certainly different than yours.  But here's the bottom line -- God gave you those children to rear.  Not me.  Not your neighbor, not your cousin, not the friend-of-a-friend on Facebook who decided to "correct your thinking" on some decision or other of yours.  Despite the fact that she's never even met you.

I see you, and more important, God sees you.  He sees the struggle you have daily to serve this beautiful family, to be a servant as He has called you.  He sees your heart for them, which stems from your heart for Him.  And it is to Him you will ultimately answer, not to anyone else.

So, let's make a pact, you and I.  You go on living for your audience of One, and I will do the same, and I will encourage you along the way as best I can.  Maybe a smile.  Maybe picking up that pacifier that your little one dropped for the 963,082 time this shopping trip.  Maybe by educating my children about the differences of other children.  Maybe by crying in my car as my heart breaks for you in your struggles.  And you do the same.  I'll give you the benefit of the doubt, assume that you truly do have your children's best interest at heart, that you are truly competent to raise these small ones entrusted to your care by their Creator.  And you do the same for me.

Let's see each other -- truly see each other, and look past the superficial differences and to the heart of each other.  Let's stop the mommy wars, as much as we are able.  Let's be at peace with each other, in so far as it is up to us.  I'll trust you, encourage you, and cry for you at times, and you do the same for me, OK?

Let's fight this good fight together, teach our children to see people, not issues.  After all, if God had wanted sameness, He could easily have made us that way.  It seems to me that He likes the nuance, the beauty of the differences in His children.