Sunday, October 16, 2011

Newsboys and Ducks: A Post From the Mrs.

So, Jason showed me a few of the ins and outs of the blog, and I picked up on the most important part: how to write on it. Hopefully he does not regret this decision. I remind him frequently that my middle name is Brooke, as in the babbling kind, but I'll try not to be too wordy when I step up to the plate here. :)

An overarching theme in my life lately and the circles that I find myself in has been about motivation. Specifically the motives behind our actions.

The old Newsboys song, "Shine", has a line in it that says:
...The truth is in
the proof is when
your heart starts asking
"What's my motivation?"

If you were a teenager in a Christian church in the 1990's you are probably singing along in your head now too. For that I'm so sorry. But Truth is found in a variety of places, not just the highest quality of music...but that's for another time. If you have not heard the song up to now, you can check it out here on Youtube.

What is your motivation for your actions? Are you motivated by fear? Most of us are.

Now, I'm not talking about choosing not to go visit a Haunted House this season because of fear, as one of my friends responded when posed the question. I'd say that fear is probably not a bad motivation for deciding against that choice, in my opinion. Fear and not wanting to change my pants.

However, if you are allowing fear to dictate the answers to the important questions in your life, I'd go so far as to say that fear is a poor motivation for decision-making. When fear controls your decisions, you are giving over control of your life to this fear.

This can be every decision from personal questions such as: "Should I go talk to that gentleman standing on the street with a sign asking for a dollar?"
It can be vocational questions such as: "Should I take this job/leave this job/start my own business/expand my business?"
It can even be spiritual questions such as: "Is my motivation for choosing my faith or religion because I truly want to know and follow God or because I'm afraid of going to Hell?"

Our oldest daughter is in Kindergarten and she provides an excellent example of how our motives are more important that the choices that we make. Her class is like most other elementary classes, including my own when I taught at her current elementary school several years ago. Her teacher has a classroom management plan that includes rewards for good behavior.

Caroline tells me every day that she got a Smiley Stamp on her chart and will ask me if I'm proud of her that she got a stamp (for good behavior) on her chart. Each time I tell her that I am proud that she's doing the right thing, not that she got a stamp. The stamp is just a symbol of the desired behavior. I want her motivation to be that she has the internal desire to do the right thing, because it's the right thing to do, not the desire for approval of others.

Do the right thing, because it's the right thing to do.

It's so simple, and one of the mantras around the Simpson Six homestead. However, we often get caught up in fear and worry about the approval of others. I don't care if you are six or sixty--we all care on one level or another about the approval of someone, somewhere in our lives--often much more than we should. The Minimalist Mom (another blogger that I LOVE to read--if you are interested in or intrigued by minimalist living, check her out here) wrote a great article about not caring what other people think. We like ducks a lot around here, and they've got it right. Just let everything roll off your back. Easier said than done, right?

We only have one life, and we are the authors of it. Take back the pen from fear and from trying to please everyone around you and write your own story. I'm certain that it will be much more thrilling, exciting and fulfilling than what others and fear could ever write for you.

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