You choose: Make it your excuse, or make it your story

Cam says on the way to school: ‘Mom, I’m quite sad and worried about you because you’re approaching old age.’ I tell him 38 isn’t all that old, and how I’ve hopefully got a few good years in me yet because it’s possible that I’m not even halfway through my life and that he needn’t be sad and worried. He worries too about his independence – asks quiet and concerned – ‘What if I can’t match my buttons in the right order even when I’m a grownup? What if my wife has to do my buttons for me?’

And we lie in bed some nights sad and worried too because why doesn’t God just heal Cam’s eyes and give us a glory story to tell the world? How could this slow stretching of us possibly be more readable? And why is our regular seven-year-old who doesn’t have the emotional capacity to deal with lost Lego forced to process Big Difficult Things that crop up in regular lives so much later, if at all?

But then he prattles on the way home about his first day back at school. Their theme this week is garden creatures and they’re revising all the spelling words from Term 1 and there were three class birthdays today and there were cupcakes from one kid and party packs from two others but one mommy only packed twenty-four party packs and there are twenty-five in the class and so I didn’t get one he chatters happy and matter-of-fact without skipping a beat and so-and-so told me she went camping in the holidays and can we have cheesy toast for lunch?

I ooh and aah calm and interested at all the pivotal moments of his day’s unfolding plot but I’m thinking about that party pack. Not because we need the extra sugar this afternoon. But I’m wondering if the small someone handing out the goods thought that Cam wouldn’t see that he was being skipped?

Later we’re circling syllables in his spelling words and I circle back to the party pack. Like, was he really ok with how things went down?

‘So, um, why do you think you were the kid who didn’t get a party pack?’

He says, ‘Well, Mom. If not me, why another kid?

And I’m stunned and humbled because sophisticated, strategic, world-leading grownups don’t always get this and nations war because of it. I’m also kind of deeply impressed by how my regular seven-year-old reminds me powerfully that the people in the world doing the things that really matter seldom have time to complain about how unfair things are and how Mariane Pearl was right when she said that self-pity, even when legitimate, never fails to undermine your strength. It gets me nowhere to ask, ‘Why me?’ Because really, ‘Why not me?’ And because whatever I’m living – I can make it my excuse, or I can make it a glory story worth reading.

DSC_0562. . .

I’d love to hear how you’re taking excuses and turning them into stories? And thanks for reading, friend. I’m honoured to share the journey with you. You’re welcome to stop by for a chat here, keep in touch on Facebook or Twitter, or sign up to get these posts by email.

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16 comments

  1. I will never forget hearing a motivational talk by a quadriplegic whose central message was Why not me? I have never forgotten that in my moments of self pity especially thinking about the thousands of miles between me and my kids and grandchild. Once again the simplicity of the child’s logic really touched me. Thanks Cam and D for more wisdom for everyday

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  2. Oh, how absolutely amazing that little soul of yours is! ‘Out of the mouths’, such wisdom and acceptance. I wish we would all learn more from these little ones!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Cam is a very special, intelligent little boy. When one of
    my children was diagnosed with epilepsy, I also wanted
    to know WHY ME? and immediately the answer came
    came back, WHY NOT ME? So yes, that is MY STORY.
    By God’s grace, we had to accept and TRUST IN GOD and today she leads a normal life and has also accepted
    her situation and her condition us under control.
    There is another situation where we could really go into
    a “self-pity” type of life but trust that in God’s timing and
    looking for the HAND OF GOD, things will turn out for the best. lots of love. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your writing inspires me. You give Hope and you encourage! I love that. Can I be added to receive your blogs? I’m not so technically advanced 😆

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    • Hi Trace! Yay, so very glad.. 🙂 I can’t add you from my side – just have a look in the sidebar (or scroll down if you’re on your phone) and you’ll find a box that says: Grow young via email. Add your email address and follow the prompts… Voila! xx

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  5. I am reminded of when I lost Ashley, a full term stillborn little gem, and the insurmountable grief. I read a book called “Life’s not fair, but God is good” to try to place things in perspective – to realign my thought – to make peace with my pain. To ask Why me? is to assume we are better than others and somehow less deserving of pain, trauma or loss. Why not me? Why should my life be devoid of pain and loss? It is only when I let go and stopped blaming God or believing that He did not really know what is good for my life that I moved on. I turned to Job and read: “Job did not sin by accusing God of wrong doing.” I too would do the same.

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