I ran into an acquaintance today who I faked being really happy to see.  It isn’t that I don’t like her.  Truthfully, I don’t even know her that well. This woman has actually had a very hard life but she has turned those struggles into something amazing.  She is pretty, just wrote a book, is frequently on local television and is just a lovely woman (can you see why I had to fake being happy to see her?).  I recently asked a wise 70 year old woman when she thought women finally graduated from the 8thgrade.  When will I quit being jealous, petty and wishing that I was better, prettier and more “successful?” I thought I would outgrow being annoyed by the head cheerleader, valedictorian and glee club girls before I left high school but obviously I have not.

Many of the turning points in my life have to do simply with resolve.  Choosing to set my mind on that which I desire to have, do differently or want to believe and choosing to forget that which I desire to abandon. When I was struggling with doubt in my faith I decided after a lot of prayer, time in God’s Word, some swearing and a really rocking pity party to do what Billy Graham did when he was wondering if faith was all it was cracked up to be: …”finally after much thought, turmoil and prayer Graham decided, “Father, I am going to accept this as Thy Word – by faith.., Not all my questions were answered.., [but] In my heart and mind, I knew a spiritual battle in my soul had been fought and won.” Billy Graham just decided. He made a mental choice. When I was questioning if God had called me to get involved with an inner city orphan, I finally decided one day since I knew without a shadow of a doubt, despite all the obstacles, confusion and hardships that went into our involvement with Polo, that God had called me to him, I was going to choose to quit doubting and questioning that fact.  There have been times that the only way I have been able to move on, move past or move forward (or move at all; doubt often leads to paralysis) was to choose in my head what I was going to think. Apparently it is time to do that again and graduate from the 8th grade once and for all.

Today I resolve to quit wishing I was doing bigger things, more important/visible things, things other women are doing. I committo stop comparing myself in my head or out loud to women I think are more beautiful, thinner, eat better, are nicer moms, have time to write, cook, wash their sheets and organize their cabinets without hurting themselves. Whether I feel it or not, today I am going to accept I am the woman God made ME to be.  I choose today to quit wishing I would have graduated from college earlier, began walking with God sooner, been less of selfish mom and wife for so long and that I was a more domesticated woman.  I will embrace my inner Dory, the fact that I love cars more than crafts and the fact that God made me. I will resolve to QUIT wishing I looked differently, desiring different and better gifts and believing the lie that I am not good enough.  I am good enough to be Laura Sandretti.  Where are my cap and gown?

“Dear Lord, I am sorry.  I am sorry it has taken me thirty two years longer to graduate from 8thgrade than it should have. I am sorry I have struggled with wishing I was someone other than who you made me to be.  Thank you for showing me the power of resolve and that changing my thinking helps me to move out of places where I become stuck, unproductive and frustrated.  Thank you for prompting me to quit looking for reasons to want to dislike successful, beautiful and talented women. I know I will still gravitate back to that way of thinking at times, but I am so thankful that these moments of declarative resolve allow me to stop and remember who YOU say I am. I don’t always believe how much you love me and how you see me, but thank you for a chance to choose to begin to move toward believing it.  In Your Name, Amen.”