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Driven

Are you driven? Which direction are you headed?

Driven - Are you driven? Which direction are you headed?

photo credit: Thomas Anderson used by license

I remember when my eldest was little. My husband was the sole bread winner. We lived on 2-acres in Paso Robles wine country. It sounds pretty, but ours was 2-acres of weeds.

For awhile it was just me and FishBoy. Due to miscarriages, he didn’t become a big brother until he was on his way to four. I had one little guy and a big house and no other obligations.

Only once did my husband ask what I did all day. I don’t remember the circumstances or what I was complaining about. I know he was tired.

But, I remember it.

Not because he was mean. He totally wasn’t. Not because he was accusing. He wasn’t that either.

But, because for the longest time I condemned myself inside because I didn’t get more done in a day. Call me a perfectionist overachiever.

Because I am. Or at least I was.

Driven.

For years I was, as my mom phrases it, driven. I would stay up late cleaning the house because that was the only time it would stay clean. I would make handmade Christmas presents because I couldn’t stand not to give a gift despite our lack of money. I would invite half the church over for Easter because I could.

Driven - Are you driven? Which direction are you headed?

I went over and above the call of duty on a number of occasions because I wanted to prove myself.

(I’m still not sure whom I was trying to impress.)

In my old age, I’ve gotten tired. I still bite off more than I can chew. I still overbook myself. I still say yes when I should say no, but it’s usually because it’s cool stuff that I want to do.

I’m getting better about not feeling like I have to prove something. I’m driven, yes, but really, I’m finally driven in the right direction.

To Christ.

It’s not that I wasn’t a Christian in my overachiever mama days. I was. But, my prayers did not have the fervor they do now.

I was desperate then, don’t get me wrong. Of course I was! I had all these little kids and babies running around. But, I thought that if I only tried hard enough, if I “worked on” this thing or that thing, if I improved myself, then my problems would dissipate. I would have that bright, happy, shiny life that I figured other people had because they were more with it than I.

Over the last couple years we’ve had challenges that there was no way I could fix. No matter how late I stayed up, that problem was not going to get resolved. It was truly out of my hands. No striving could meet those challenges. We’ve seen much growth in those particular challenges, but life is never easy or unflawed, is it?

Some days I get worried about something and am too panicked to pray, so I call out to friends I know will pray for me. Good days fond me writing in a spiral-bound notebook, pouring out my heart and my fears to God, being brave, despite the fears.

I still have my fears. I still have my big plans. I am still driven. I’m just driven beyond my own resources to the One who can take care of it all.

I hope that from now on I will always be driven to Christ.

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Comments

  1. I always appreciate your posts of this nature. Much as I would say I’m not trying to be supermom, to be and do all the things, I still am. Ever since I was a kid I’ve been defined by what I do- not by what Jesus has done for me. I’ve been a Christian “plus” straight A student, successful college graduate, baby food making mom, party planner, good housekeeper, bible study leader, etc. All that stuff I do- or did, or tried and failed and berated myself for not doing. Right now I am reading Good News for Weary Women by Elyse Fitzpatrick, and she addresses these “lists, steps, and bad advice” women believe they need to be godly. It’s encouraging. So are you thank you!

  2. This really resonated with me, because I’ve been there, too. Even as a child & teenager I was too often driven by other people’s expectations, because I want to make everyone happy. And then I started putting those expectations on myself. None of the things were bad, but I learned the difference between the “good” and the “best” (The best being what God wants.) But it’s still a constant struggle. I had a “lightbulb” moment when I read “Saying ‘yes’ means saying ‘no’ to something else & I started to think more about choices. Given limited time and energy, what are my priorities, and how does this thing I’m considering affect them? I’m still not passed the desire to please other people & some perfectionist tendencies. It’s a work in progress. One of the books that I read a few years back “Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World” was pretty eye opening for me. Now I’m slowly reading “When People are Big and God is Small.”

  3. This post resonated with me. It makes me reflect on this decade of my life and the beauty that it holds. The beauty of your forties is recognizing grace and knowing that if you fail(and if you live long enough you usually do at some point) that you’ll just pick yourself up, brush yourself off and survive just like you’ve done those other times. I’ve even learned to *gasp* appreciate those failures from earlier on because they’ve honed me and taught me who I can count on(everyone loves to be around a winner, it takes a true friend to stick by you when you are struggling) and how strong I really can be. I never really knew how to describe this decade to my kids before now……..fearless forties…….not because I have no fears but because despite those fears I will forge forward and have faith that if I fall that I’ll get right back up again.

  4. Christine A says:

    I, too, can relate. I still tend to overbook, over-do. My Mom has always told me that “I try and do too much”! As I read the comments, it is comforting knowing I am not alone…..but, it makes me wonder why many women presumably from different backgrounds are like this? Pressures from society? Media? Is it just the way girls (oldest girl) are raised?? Who knows!!! Just interesting!!!

    • Don’t you think it’s more our generation and the idea that we can do “anything”? Ma Ingalls didn’t seem to get all stressed out. I think we have so many options, it’s hard to choose, so we try to do it all.

  5. Your line that says “Some days I get worried about something and am too panicked to pray, so I call out to friends I know will pray for me. ” reminds me of me… There are times–especially in cases of medical situations with family (husband) that sometimes just get the better of me, and I rely on others to pray because I am just to numb. Usually it makes me feel like there is something wrong with me–that I’m not praying. But it’s good to know that there are others who call out on friends to pray for them when they are just not capable of praying right now… Thanks for that validation!

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