Beautiful girl you can do hard things. I recently saw a bracelet for sale online that had those words on it. Of course, I loved it. I didn't buy it because I wanted to buy one for not just me but for my girls as well. Then I started thinking that perhaps a bracelet wouldn't work because my oldest doesn't wear a lot of jewelry. A necklace maybe would be good. A placard really might be needed. A sign to wear around that we could look down and see....a t-shirt might be good. The number of times I say or I hear my daughters say that something is too hard is immeasurable. We could really use a reminder that we can do hard things and even if we can't do it alone we can do it because God is with us.
Writing is too hard. I can't do it. I don't know what to say and it doesn't matter because no one will notice if I don't write anyway. Physical therapy is too hard. I feel terrible the entire next day afterward anyway and my arm and fingers are still going numb anyway. I'm not smart enough to figure out how to do half of the things my job (that I only mildly hate now) entails. I'm not qualified to get another job. I can never seem to keep the weight off, it's too hard. I never say the right thing to the kids. I'm a terrible parent. Why does my husband stay with me? Dreams don't come true for girls like me. I can't have the job I want because no newspaper, magazine, or website will look at my work because I lack a bachelor degree and I'm internet illiterate. I have thirty five followers and I'm pretty sure to get noticed you need in the neighborhood of thirty five million. This class is too hard, I will never figure this stuff out. This piano piece is too difficult for me to play. I can't play anything but classical, jazz is too hard. I can't make friends, no one likes me. I'm too weird. I can't decide what to major in because I'm too worried about disappointing you. I can't do this assignment. This workout is too hard. I'm not pretty enough.
It's a constant stream. Do you have this? Do you get the constant stream of things that you can't do and you're not good enough or smart enough for from your inner voice as well as those voices around you. Do your kids say these things and you try to figure out how on earth they came to become this way when you have told them their entire lives how beautiful, smart, creative, talented, kind, and wonderful they are? Am I the only one who has messed this up? Do you try and figure it all out and then realize you say those things and think those things about yourself? Are you nice to yourself? If so, can you teach me?
My kids are all beautiful, smart, witty, kind, and compassionate human beings who I am certain God has big plans for. They are far from perfect. They are just as flawed as any other human walking on planet earth but they are also full of just as much potential as any of them too. I have tried to raise them to help them to be aware of who they are and yet humble at the same time. I have failed. I didn't want them to be full of themselves and snobbish and what I created were daughters who are just like me. We are a fine trio. Three girls of God who were born to stand out but so afraid of making a mistake we tamp down every dream, every idea, every thought of something great in fear of being mistaken for something we are not. Three girls who really aren't sure who we are. Three girls full of potential but too scared of what that means. Anyone? Are you there too?
Greatness is for other people. Is that you? Let me tell you a secret that this world will never tell you. Oh you can read it on jewelry and t-shirts and maybe hear it from your mom (who my kids say are required to tell you nice things because of being your mom) beautiful child of God YOU can do hard things. Yes YOU! Yes my girls and even me. We can do hard things.
I try to tell myself nice things. I do self affirmations. I have found that of all the things that I have to offer I like my feet. I tell myself that I have beautiful feet. It might sound crazy to you, it kind of is really. I mean how beautiful can feet really be? But when you fight a constant stream day in and day out sometimes you need to find the one thing that you can like about yourself. For me, it's my feet because even when my weight fluctuates my shoes fit. I can still wear cute shoes. Even when I hurt because of arthritis that I think I'm too young for, my feet are spectacular. When I feel as though I have messed up my kids and I am a terrible wife because I have ruined another dinner and all I have to offer is peanut butter, at least I have cute feet. Is it enough? Of course not. Am I enough? No. Will I ever be? Likely not. That's what my inner voices tells me.
But my internal stream, and probably your internal stream at times as well, lies. Our biggest problems are that we either don't know who we are, we forget who we are, and we don't know who we work for. I keep telling my girls that they can do hard things. I remind them of all they have accomplished so far. I tell them they are daughters of the One True King. I tell them that there is absolutely nothing they can do that will make me stop loving them. I can't be disappointed because they are trying, they are out there giving it their all. They can do hard things! I am their biggest cheerleader. In the line of people who love them I am right behind Jesus. Jesus loves them more than any of us can possibly imagine or understand. I have failed to show them how to live it out though. I forget who I am. I forget who I work for. I forget I'm not alone. I forget I too can do hard things. I second guess who I am. Do I even know who that is? What if I only think I know? What if what I think is what God wants me to do really is only my own desires?
My oldest daughter is smart and witty. She is quite possibly one of the funniest people you will ever meet if you are lucky enough to witness it. When she smiles the sun shines brighter. She is a brilliant writer and has a beautifully creative mind. If anyone is meant to be in English or writing as a major it is her. She is an accounting major and it is killing her spirit but she can do hard things to get to where she needs to be to come alive in her passion and purpose.
My middle daughter is smart and musical. She plays four different instruments. She was playing the piano last night and I was amazed. She is her own worse critic. She will play something so beautiful and I will be so impressed and when she is done she will say it was terrible. It was terrible, she's terrible, and she can't do it but she can do hard things. She has a love for music and bringing joy to others.
My son is smart and sarcastic and witty. He is very much the most extroverted of the bunch. He never met a stranger and he is a good friend always looking for a laugh. He loved Jesus and reads everything about the Christian faith he can. He wants to lead people to Jesus...maybe one joke at a time. I'm not sure what his future is going to entail but he also can do hard things. He does hard things every week that wear him out.
Beautiful ones you can do hard things. God knows the desires of your hearts. He knows the things that bring you life. He knows the ways you will serve the kingdom. He knows you can do hard things because you won't be doing them alone. You are never alone. You are a child of the One True King who 'will never leave you nor forsake you'. (Deuteronomy 31:8) You are the child of the One who knows his plans for you, plans to prosper and not to hurt you plans to give you a hope and a future.(Jeremiah 29:11) 'For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.' (Ephesians 2:10). We can do all things through him who gives us strength. (Philippians 4:13) Beautiful ones we need to know who we are. We need to remember who we belong to. We need to remember who we work for. I don't know where you are.
I don't know what your struggle is. I can only share what I'm struggling with in the hopes of shedding some light for you and for me. Remember who you are and know you, beautiful child of God, YOU can do hard things.