I, like many of you, have made a long and valiant list of new year resolutions. Usually, I am gung-ho for about ten days and then slowly taper off until the beginning of February when I can no longer remember exactly what I resolved to do because I didn't ever actually write them down. This year, however, it is January 12th and I am still compiling my list. I know I know, but better late than never. My list reads something like this:
Lose seven pounds
Stop eating sweets, okay maybe just on the weekends, or how about just homemade sweets Exercise more
Read more, more non-fiction, excluding fashion magazines
Learn to be a better cook, maybe just a healthier cook, how about just cook MORE
But, my number one, the one that keeps haunting me is to know my children more, or better, really know them.
I completely failed my daughter this Christmas with my choice of presents for her. Okay maybe that is a little dramatic. I waited until the last minute to shop, like Christmas Eve last minute, and I felt rushed and unprepared. My husband and I decided on a moderate amount of money to spend (in case you were about to set off on a "commercialism of Christmas" rant:)) but, I let myself get caught up in the "toy of the year award" and big plastic toys with lights because it looked "Christmasy". Toys that merited the hard work of Santa's elves and his trip down our tight chimney. Although I listened to my daughter's list for Santa, I'm not sure I paid attention to the types of play she loves or to the characters she pretends to be or how she spends her idle time. I know it is just a gift and she is only three-years-old and there will be many more Christmases but, her lack of joy or surprise or wonder was lacking this year and it made me thoughtful. It's not that I felt guilty or disappointed its that I know what it feels like to be known. To receive a gift or item that I never even realized I wanted or needed and it be a perfect compliment to who I am, who I want to be. I want to give her that. To know her.
I said something out loud in small group a while back that has resonated with me - "It's good to be known." Isn't it? I sometimes ache for my college friends even though we have grown apart and have busy lives filled with children and careers. We grew up together. We lived together. They know me. They love me. That is why it is so hard to make new friends, right? I struggle with having to wait for the day, the moment when I can make fun of a fellow mom for wearing goggles to the swim play date and she laugh because she knows me, knows I am kidding - sort of. The goggles were ridiculous. (Love you Keisha!) I want new friends and new experiences but I ache to be known.
Psalm 46:10 was in my devotional reading the other morning and I wanted to roll my eyes but I read it even though I know it by heart. I read it out loud, listening to the words. Be still and know that I am God. Know that I am God. Know. Know that I am God. Know God. Know God. I heard my words, it's good to be known.
I want to know my children. To hear them. To listen to them. To know how to love them individually. To recognize the gifts God has given them, who he is molding them into and to, by his grace, compliment those things as their mother. I want to be known by them. I want them to see what God has done for me, what he has given me. I ache to know God. To understand that I am known by him. To be able to recognize his gifts, the ones I never asked for, did not know I wanted or needed, to recognize them as the perfect compliment to who I am and the woman I long to be. It's good to be known.