Tis the Gift to Be Simple

by | Mar 29, 2021 | Family Life, Spirituality

“I wished we lived in a world where everything was as simple as it is for my six-year-old son.”  This was the thought that swam around my head over and over today as I watched his joyful face and stamina as he competed in his FIRST Track Meet.  This was not just any track meet, but instead it was a track meet full of children who have different “special” needs.  He did every, single event from throwing the discus, to running an obstacle course, and then his favorite…the long jump.  He did it all with a smile on his face, never complaining if he did not get it the first time and cheered for himself no matter how “good” or “not good” he did, according to the world’s standards.  Those standards did not matter to him…he did it with joy, and he did it for the glory of God.

Competition is one of my greatest vices.  I hold myself to terribly high standards and I place unrealistic expectations upon myself.  Failure is not an option in my world…it never has been.  From a young age I have always been an “outcast”.  I was bullied and made fun of all my adolescent years and so I always felt as though I could never fail, or it would give the kids I went to school even more ammunition to use against me.  That no fail attitude has followed me well into my adult years.  I cannot fail in my job, so instead I would do so much that I ended up burning out quicker than I would have if I just gave myself realistic expectations.  I cannot fail as a wife or a mother…but then I compare myself to another mom who seems to be doing everything I am doing and more, and she’s doing it with way more grace and joy than I am AND she has time to go on at least one date night a week with her husband.  How does she do it?  Why can’t I be more like her?  These questions honestly are NOT the questions I should be asking myself.  Instead, I should be asking God; Why do I feel I need to compare myself?  How can I learn too just be joyful being me?  Lord, why can’t I be more like my son…my son who doesn’t care about the world’s standards but cheers for himself no matter the outcome!  Regardless of if he won or not, he did the task and to him, that was a victory!!!

In this world we live in there are all kinds of expectations placed upon us…we must keep up with the Jone’s, right?  The beautiful thing is that these expectations are NOT from God.  God has never asked us to do the same things as anybody else.  He created us to fulfill a particular mission and nobody else has that same mission.  Why do we not find comfort in that?  Why do we spend more effort living up to what the world desires of us, instead of taking all of that effort and putting it into doing the will of God in our lives?  My little six-year-old, who rocks an extra twenty-first chromosome, gets it.  He knows he has a purpose, and his purpose is to know, love, and serve God!  I believe that every night he goes to bed he cheers for himself because he truly did just that!!!  We hear an “I love you God, and Yay, George!”  Lord, help me be more like George!  Help me please you and not worry about the rest of the world!

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Tara Brooke

Tara Brooke is a wife, mother, educator, and child of God.  Tara has worked in various aspects of ministry in the Catholic Church for over 20 years, her last years as a Director of Marriage and Family Life for her local diocese.  She now stays home and tends to the needs of her growing and beautiful family.  She has three biological children and two adopted children, both with Down Syndrome. She loves helping engaged couples grow in their understanding of the Sacrament of Marriage as well as helping enrich already married couples in growing in holiness together.  She resides in Bismarck, ND with her amazing husband, Deacon Dan! 

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