As I pondered this week’s writing prompt from Finding the Grace Within‘s Tuesday at Ten writing prompt: A defining moment – I struggled to come up with an answer. I started out with a brainstorm listing key events or processes that have had an impact on my life. I was uncomfortable with those experiences defining me – or even the consequences of those experiences defining me.
So I asked myself a question – who am I and what made me like that?
I am a Christian, and my life journey so far has shaped me in terms of my faith and my practices – I don’t mean my church practices but rather the things that I do in my life.
I am married and marrying Peter has shaped me in ways that marrying anyone else would not have.
I have 4 kids – and that has shaped my life – not just the number of kids, but the gender, and their personalities, strengths and weaknesses.
Living in the far north – away from family – in a fairly remote situation, has shaped me.
Friends I’ve made over the years have all contributed to my life and as they do so, they shape me.
Homeschooling has shaped me.
I have memories and history and friendships from my childhood that shape me to who I am today.
I have several rhema’s that my life has been shaped by; words that I felt God whisper to my heart – truth to live by.
I have habits that shape me – good habits and bad!
After reflecting on those things I decided to take liberty with the writing prompt (is that allowed?) Because though many of the things that I’ve mentioned are positive they haven’t been without challenge, without hard, without struggle. You see, I think one of the most defining ideas in my life is resourcefulness.
I find myself in a situation and I ask: What am I going to do about it?
- It might require faith and trust in God – where I have to learn to rest
- It might require wisdom where I problem solve.
I am what I am because of my Responses
When I look back over significant moments, or significant parts of me (the two aspects of this week’s writing prompt) I can’t help but see that I am what I am because of the way I respond to situations around me – either positive responses or negative.
I largely contribute this way of handling problems to my parents. My parents encouraged me to think through the struggles, and brainstorm some solutions, to consider implications positive and negative, and then encouraged to be active and not be a ‘victim’. After a life of responding this way (not always straight away mind you!) it does become a defining character trait – a defining response – a part of who you are.
Last night we went to the movies to watch Inside Out and loved it! This morning we were reflecting on the message and it kind of ties in with this defining idea – you can’t have joy without sadness, which is along the same thought as you can’t have successes without having fails, you can’t find solutions without a problem, you can’t have a victory without a struggle.
The defining moment will be when you make a choice.
It is our response to situations that define us more than the situations themselves.
I tell my kids – you cannot control what happens to you – you can only control your response. Will you look for God honouring responses or will you let the negativity, the struggle, the problem overwhelm you and define you?
God promises us wisdom to all those who ask (See James 1:5)
What choice will you make in the situations you are in today?
5 Different Times Parents can Speak Words of Life to their Kids: Throughout the day we have 5 different opportunities to speak words of life; words that instill hope, courage, trust and a sense of belonging.
Our Personality does not Excuse us from Doing the Right Thing: Jesus’ command to love God and love others was not limited to particular personality traits; it was a command for us all.
How to Respond when Your Child Makes a Bad Choice: When our child makes a bad choice our heart hurts but we must respond with love, compassion and wisdom instead of being upset at their behaviour. A heart-based problem needs a heart-based solution.
How to not Provoke your Child’s Heart: The Bible tells us to not provoke our children to anger. When we choose to encourage we build up the child’s heart and build our relationship.
Over to you:
Have you thought of the impact of how you respond to life?