I shared in yesterday’s post that I am often frozen in fear. Of all the possible things to fear… I fear people most. I am a certifiable people pleaser. I want people to like me… to be pleased with me… to be my friend.
Often, I take this need for acceptance to the extreme. I will sacrifice myself for these other people. In my warped and sinful way, the way I go about this is all backward… I sacrifice the least for the four who live with me and sacrifice the most for people I hardly know. Please don’t ask me why… my only answer is that I am a sinner saved by grace.
So, one of the things I have most prayed for myself in the last six months is that I would develop thicker skin. I want to have skin like an alligator and a heart like a lamb. I want to be loving and caring without being bothered by every negative word that is spoken to me, about me or around me.
I think this is part of God’s answer to that plea…
|do you notice that there are 3 swimmers and 3 lifeguards?
Do you see that tank in the background? That is a 13’6″ diving pool filled with warm water. It has become my haven. For a nominal fee, we come here 2-4 times a week. I lower myself in that warm water and tread and do water aerobics for 45-75 minutes. Often, there are moments when I am the only one in that pool.
My kids go back and forth between the two pools. They are all good swimmers and I trust the lifeguards and so I can swim and relax… and listen to the giggles and the “watch me, Mom!”
All five of us go…
though sometimes we don’t all swim…
either way, this open swim time has become something I truly look forward to. Last night I closed me eyes and felt the warm water, listen to the tiny waves splash over the filter edge and thanked Him for this gift.
I feel like this has been a gift… for me… a time to learn to say “no” to other things and to enjoy 90 minutes with my family. I am slowly learning that it is okay to say “no” in order to say “yes” to the four I love the most. It is okay to say “no” to say “yes” to a gift from Him.
In this I have developed thicker skin, without even realizing it. There are those who have disagreed with me going to the pool instead of doing other things. More spiritual things, they assume. It’s funny… I’m becoming less and less bothered by that and more and more comfortable doing my own thing.
Though my family may disagree… I’m thinking God has provided this gift of open swim for me… time with Him… time to exercise… time to unwind… time to learn how to say “no”.