Sometimes, I’m pretty sure I suck at life.
Maybe you can relate?
Moments before I drift off to glorious slumber, my mind begins to take inventory of all the things I didn’t get right.
It usually starts with: I’m failing my kids.
Speaking of my kids, they
- don’t sleep in their own beds.
- do extracurriculars.
- have chore charts.
- behave “appropriately” in public.
Yep, definitely failing, Kelsey. Haven’t you seen the way they act compared to your friend’s kids? What is wrong with you? Your kids deserve so much more than you.
And then I move on to all the ways I failed my husband. . .
Sharing the Fear of Missing Out
In my rare moments of being vulnerable, these crazy usually-reserved-for-bedtime confessions are tentatively shared with my safe people. And I was unnecessarily shocked to find they had similar screwing-up-their-kids worries.
“I can’t stand the noise. So we never do playdates. My poor kids are missing out.”
“We chose to homeschool for so many good reasons, but sometimes I wonder if they are missing out on a “normal” childhood experience.”
“We had kids so young. I wonder what life would have been like if we would have waited. Would we have been better parents? happier parents?”
It’s echoed over and over again, “am I—or my loved ones—missing out and if so, is it my fault?”
I’m guessing God knew we would struggle with this. It’s why He tells us not to covet.
Don’t long for someone else’s life. I created this beautiful, messy life just for you, Love.
Fear of Missing Out & Being a “Bad” Person
As someone who used to ditch friends for something “better” (read: boys), I know this fear and tension quite well.
And, even now, as a wife and mother and, well, human, I’m constantly doing—or feeling guilty about not doing—things out of that fear.
Fear that if I don’t, then it makes me bad—not good enough.
And we don’t want to be perceived as bad, do we? Think about all the time we spend encouraging little kids to make good choices. And rightly so, we need them to be able to decipher between right and wrong.
But somewhere along the line, we started assigning goodness and badness, rightness and wrongness to completely neutral, sinless choices. Is football better than ballet? Is a quiet afternoon better than a busy one? Is green prettier than brown?
It’s subjective, right?
So why do we spend so much time wondering if we are missing out? And maybe we are missing out, but I don’t think we are missing what we think we are.
The Thing You’re Really Missing Out On
Sweet friend, don’t tune this part out.
God uniquely made you—perfectly designed you—to express His love. It’s not going to look like everyone else’s gifts or talents or life.
If we live our lives full of guilt or if we do things out of fear, we are missing out on the unique expression and contribution God has for us.
Our kids, spouses, friends, community—the world—are better off when we do us and not strive to be someone else.
In other words, if your eyes aren’t searching for need to help or hearts to encourage—people to love—it’s time to put them back on your own paper.
Live your life—your real right in front of you life. Embrace your quirks. Meet Jesus right where you are.
Of course, study your Bible, lean on your people, pray.
But then, friend?
Trust in Truth and Grace.
So when we snuggle in for the night and begin to evaluate our day, we can look at our choices—the manifestation of our God-given free will—through the eyes of grace and our unique callings.
Don’t miss out on being you.
You’re pretty awesome.
If when you read about your unique self and staying true to your gifts and calling you thought, “this doesn’t apply to me,” please take a moment to read through this series starting with: Did God forget to give you a calling?
And don’t forget to visit my favorite Resources to Finding & Nurturing Your Passions!