I believe that too much of a good thing is a bad thing. And for every questionable action there is the risk of an equally adverse reaction. It is in this spirit of avoiding undesirable outcomes that I got after my oldest daughter for slicing a hole in the top of her water bottle.
“Why can’t you unscrew the cap like everyone else?” I asked.
“Because it’s easier to drink out of this way,” Katie said as she stabbed the lid again.
“Not if I have to take you to the hospital for stitches,” I warned.
My words fell on deaf ears as Katie twisted the knife to make the hole bigger and then pulled it out to examine her handiwork. I should have been more stern with her but the truth is that I admired my daughter’s determination and understood her action. All of us, at one time or another, have dismissed direction and taken a stab at finding our own solution to a problem. Sometimes it works to our advantage and other times it works us over to the point where we’re so afraid of getting hurt that we refuse to even try.
I want my kids to realize the dreams that God has planted in their hearts, not hide from them.
Too much of a good thing (even avoiding negative consequences) is definitely a bad thing if it holds us back or hinders our progress. And although I intend to keep poking holes in Katie’s water bottle theory until she finds a safer way to quench her thirst for efficiency, I never want her to stop trying to make the world a better place. Instead I want my oldest—and all of us—to take responsible chances and view mistakes, not as road blocks to avoid, but as guard rails to keep us moving in the right direction. Only then will we reach the place where God’s plan meets our productivity as we put a lid on our fear of failure and say goodbye to the status quo.
Put every system to the test until the good is better and the better is best.
I hate to be tardy but sometimes … it happens. Most of those times, it’s my fault. Like when I was fifteen minutes late to an appointment that my friend Tina was driving me to.
“I should have scheduled the meeting for later when traffic wasn’t so heavy,” I said as she signaled to change lanes.
“I can’t believe you’re so calm,” my friend replied.
I was calm because there was nothing I could do to change the situation. Experience has taught me (over and over) that the peace that transcends all understanding never came on the tail end of a panic attack. And no matter how much we want to be in control, there will always be some unforeseen circumstance to remind us that God is God and we … are not.
I feel so strongly about this that I came up with a rhyme to remind my daughters—and myself—that obsessing over the unknown or the unavoidable is an unproductive waste of time:
If it is what it is, why complain? It makes you unhappy and drives others insane.
Although not my best poetic prose, these words are a reminder that controlling our behavior is in everyone’s best interest as we keep problems in perspective and encourage fellow travelers to do the same.
Whoever is patient has great understanding,
but one who is quick-tempered displays folly. – Proverbs 14:29
When a friend told me that she was planning to attend an in-home party where the proceeds were being donated to victims of the March 2011 earthquake that struck Japan, I agreed to tag along. We arrived to find a variety of storage solutions from Thirty-One Gifts on display and, after much deliberation, I purchased a set of All-In-One Organizer totes in a pattern that matched the interior of my van.
I used the first All-In-One Organizer to corral papers, books, and other items that used to make my passenger seat look more like a messy desk than an inviting place to sit. The second tote was the perfect size to hold reusable bags and coupons. Because the seller was running a monthly special where I could get one of the all-in-one organizers for half-price if I spent $30 of more, I also bought a Littles Carry-All Caddy and used it to store tissue paper, lens cloths, and glasses cleaner.
What I like most about the organizers (besides how nice they look), is that they also work great for road trips to hold snacks, reading material, and other travel essentials. I have been so pleased with these items that I contacted Jennifer Hansen (the Thirty-One Gifts consultant who sold them to me) and she agreed to offer free shipping to anyone who orders over $ 40.00 worth of merchandise. Thanks, Jennifer!
Links to the Thirty-One Gifts catalog, website, and current monthly specials are found below.
Current Monthly Specials
I receive no financial kickback for your order so please don’t feel pressured to make a purchase. I’m just sharing what I know so that others can grow (and become more organized on the go).