Do we know our value? Do we know how much people need us?
Often I am so busy trying to be the accomplished one, the one in charge, the self-sustained one. I think I’m doing it for so many altruistic reasons: so that I can free up my husband to touch the world, so that I’m not a burden on anyone, so that my family is proud of me, etc.
I recognize that there are so many things wrong with this train of thought, and yet it is the thought process that I knee-jerk back to if I don’t intentionally steer my heart in the right direction.
When the quiet descends, my mind floats back to reality, and I reach the end of myself (which is the place where I truly see clearly), I have to confess that I’m not doing so well and that I have big gaping desires that are going unfulfilled. And when those desires are silenced, so is my voice. When my voice is silenced, then people who are waiting for my contribution are left hanging. I recognize that, while the world doesn’t hinge on my being present, I do have a valuable contribution to make that others are waiting for. We all do.
I have come to the conclusion that, if I am to accomplish the desires of my heart, I have to reorganize and shift my priorities around.
Since the beginning of the year, I have lost 20 pounds. It didn’t happen because my body just simply decided to drop some unneeded weight. The weight dropped off because I shifted my priorities. It became more important to me to feel better, make myself healthier, and to look better, than to reinforce the habits that I’d been living by.
I figured that if I had let the immediate pressures of the day lie to me about how valuable my contribution was, then maybe those around me might have as well. I recently wrote a letter to my husband. Included in the letter were these words:
“What I want you to hear is that your time is highly valued to us. We are sustained by your creativity, leadership and counsel. We need you to steward us. The kids and I have dreams that we can’t accomplish without you. I’d love to say that we are fine so that you can turn your attention to the development of other things, but we’re not…we need continued development.
Your love, attention and time is so priceless. It is the most valuable gift that I have. I see the kids come to life when they receive it. I see their hearts open wide when the possibility of receiving it is near. If we’ve ever made you feel that you weren’t an intrigal, necessary, life-giving part of who we are as a family, then I apologize. Deeply. As the Lorax spoke for the trees, I speak on behalf of the kids and say that we need you. Desperately.”
At the beginning of this year, my eldest and I created what I called Vision Boards. We grabbed magazines and began cutting out words, captions, or pictures that represented our hopes and goals for the new year. When we had a table full of cuttings, we grabbed our glue and attached them to poster board. What came out of this is a tangible reminder to me of what I am hoping for, what goals I have, and who I want to be this year. It reminds me that I can’t get lost in the daily pressures and end up forgetting who I want to be.
I share that with you also to remind you that you, your giftings, your voice, your contribution, are valuable. Make the changes necessary to prioritize your dreams. We all need your voice.