Am I the only one that takes this trip regularly?

Inner voices repeating…”You’re not doing enough, you should be giving more, why did you say that, if only you would…”

You name it and I’ve felt it, the underlying sense of just not measuring up.

Evidently I’m not alone…one study found that 96% of women feel guilty at least once a day, while for almost half of us the feeling strikes up to four times a day. Dubbed the GAT (guilty all the time) generation, the study found we women beat ourselves up daily about friendships, relationships, work and body shape. It also discovered that almost half of us are kept awake at night by guilt. Interesting that I woke up at 4 am today feeling guilty about who knows what.

So how do we combat such regular irritation?  I’m attempting the following…

Choose the “Give What I Can” mantra — When I married Ron and overnight became the pastor’s wife of two churches, I dealt with the “Oh no, I’m not the typical pastor’s wife syndrome.” I’d hear of others doing weekly bible studies with all their staff wives, or having people in their homes frequently, or leading community outreach programs at the church. I knew it just wasn’t feasible with my schedule and skill set.

So right now I’m decorating our church lobbies with the hope of warming them up. It’s something I love to do and can squeeze in in between trips. Last fall I did a four-week teaching seminar. It may not be what everyone wants but it’s what my cupboards have now.

Change from “me focus” to “you focus” — It’s easy when I look at you to appreciate whatever you bring to the party. I don’t expect you to bring everything, I really just want you to show up with what you have.  So why not assess my own giving the same way?  When I focus on YOU and what you need that I can offer, like a word of encouragement or paying for your coffee, it takes eyes off my own shortcomings and gives attention to meeting your needs.

Affirm the Heart — This principle helps when someone offends, I try to look past what was said or done, to what they really intended in the heart.  It works with children too. We don’t expect our kids to win every time, we cheer their efforts and applaud their try.  Intentions aren’t always enough, but they’re a start, and we’d do well to affirm the same in ourselves.

Celebrate Moments vs. Milestones — The simple hug, a smile at the door, a slice of pizza after school, the text that cheers, all of these little moments of investing are worth their weight in gold, they help even when they don’t change something forever. I can’t do it all, but I can do something. I WANT to do something, and a little something is worth something.

So now I’m feeling guilty for not writing a better blog today, oh well, this is it friends, and perhaps even my small musings will spur you on today in some small way.

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My latest investment at our church in Raleigh, creating a nook where friends can gather

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How about my green patent leather couch from eBay? eBay pricing is always a good parlayer of “purchasing guilt”!



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