Freeman Fails 2012
Freeman Five 2012 Newsletter!
Freeman Fails 2012
Well, I planned on getting this newsletter out, along with a great picture of the family to all of you prior to Christmas. It was my intent to send you warm wishes, witty insights into the true Christmas worship and exciting summaries of all the wonderful Freeman experiences and accomplishments. FAIL! Never got it done. Actually, have never done it yet.
So in honor of all the “fails” we as human beings experience throughout the year, let me share with you some of ours.
Lee and I (especially me) have a propensity to rest our right foot on the accelerator of the vehicle we’re driving. This last early spring, within a 2 hour period, Lee and I were both pulled over, on the same road, by the same police officer. I was pulled over after Lee. The police officer very quickly put together that I shared the same last name and address as a gentlemen he pulled over earlier. Ah! Good to know Lee and I are now recognizable by the Windsor police. The best part of this…Lee was given a warning, I however, was given the ticket. (Granted I was speeding 10 mph faster than Lee) FAIL!
This last summer, all five of us spent 3 nights over the July 4th weekend at the fantastic Broadmoor Resort in Colorado Springs. I know there were a few moments of happiness amongst us, but the best part of the whole trip was the constant fighting, bickering, complaining, whining, moaning, crying and all out pronouncement of this being the WORST vacation ever by my 3 amazing kids! Why? Because we didn’t get to fly anywhere. There was no beach. Fireworks were canceled due to the fact that Colorado Springs nearly went up in smoke because of a severe drought and recent forest fire. Zach wanted to do A, Sarah B and Seth chose option C. Whatever we chose to do it was because we loved the one kid more and we (obviously) hated them. This usually resulted in crying and than an outright refusal to join, followed by a panic situation because they surely cannot be left alone at the hotel, followed by some complaint of a headache or stomach ache and ending with an injury because they walked into a wall or door as they stomped off with their eyes shut and fingers in their ear. How did this vacation eventually end?? With a string of profanities, hateful words of disgust and outright fuming anger and threats towards my 3 children who ended up in stunned silence with tears in their eyes and fear of their mother. FAIL
The beginning of this school year was GREAT! My oldest entered middle school and on day 2 we began receiving phone calls about his disrespectful behavior in class. While Lee and I were finally on a long awaited trip away together, we were blessed with several phone calls from 3 of his teachers about the poor behavior being shown in class. Finally, on the 6th day of school, we received the phone call every parent can’t wait to receive. The principle. Our sweet son will be spending the remaining week in the principle’s office during his lunch. Great start! FAIL!
This year, I did not work out! I paid $42/month after joining a gym in January of 2012. My last work out was the last week of January. Never went back. I didn’t run a marathon, 1/2 marathon, 10K, not even a 5K. When my kids were at the pool, I read and slept in the chaise lounge. I ate a lot of good high fat, high carb. food. I enjoyed A LOT of wine, cosmos and vodka tonics (extra lime). And now, I am 15 pounds heavier! I now weight more than I did when I was my heaviest during pregnancy! FAIL!
I think my greatest FAIL, in my mind, was the enthusiasm I had at the beginning of the year to do something GREAT! I had entered into a promising and hopeful endeavor (you’ll have to read the blog before this one). I was filled with excitement, I soaked in and ate up all the encouragement mantras and quotes, philosophies and youcandoit-ologies. I started off with a bang to! Along the way, I forgot about people as my friends and saw them to often as potential clients, team members and success stories. I had great intentions, but my focus was always on an individual’s financial future and financial freedom. I forgot about their soul. My goals, my “why” for doing this was also nothing short of saintly. I constantly pictured the amazing financial success I would create and how I would give, give, give like crazy, help our church build, travel on mission trips, mentor others, help my neighbor, I mean I day dreamed like no other! Yet here I am, 11 months later…I’ve lost some FB friends, many others I’m quite certain have not unfriended me per se, but they’ve taken me off their News Feed. The huge team I was growing is really just me, and the success, the spotlight, the accolades, awards…none. FAIL!
Fail? Is it really?
It is so easy to go through our days, weeks, months, years, life giving praise and thanks for the many wonderful and amazing things that happen in our life! And we should, oh, we should! I love to rejoice with others when they are engaged, married, on vacation, receive a promotion, run a race, reach a goal, their children succeed at something, they are out and about doing something fun, the sunsets, the moon, the mountains, the beaches, lakes, oceans, flowers, trees, on and on and on! Yes, praise God for these! But do we, or can we give thanks when we fail, during our failing?
Yes, I failed, my family failed in many ways this year. Yet in all the fails mentioned and the many more that are not, I have been changed by all of them. I have grown in ways I never would have if I did not fail! In all the crazy success stories we read about and share with others, the triumphs came out of huge failures and losses. The TRULY amazing things in this world, come from the meek, the humble, the weak, the lost, the abandoned, the losers, the failures, the un-noticed, the unsuccessful, children, the abused, the unknown. This is why we are so strongly moved by these stories. These people should have failed in life. For intent and purpose, they never should have become known. Why must we fail? Because only in my failures can I understand the imperfection and suffering in this world. If I never lost control of my emotions towards my children, how can I have grace and understanding towards others who are weary and tired in the raising of their children. I would only dismiss, judge, and criticize them. I would never have the chance to show regret and sorrow towards my children for my action. I could never model the act of asking forgiveness, for repenting of pride, and for bestowing respect on to others. Including my children. If my son never failed in school, I would never learn about his struggles, his frustrations. I would never understand other parents going through struggles with their children and difficult behavior. I would label them as lazy, weak, soft, naive, etc. etc. parents. My son would never learn that he is loved like crazy for no other reason than that he was created by God! It’s not grades, it’s not perfect attendance, or behavior, it’s not loving school, scoring touchdowns, it’s not honor roll, it’s not detention, suspension, jail, homelessness, entry level work, blue collar work, white collar work, it’s nothing we do or don’t do on this earth that makes God love us more or less. My son is adored, cherished, loved and purposed for this world by God, because God made him so.
My biggest “fail” this year is truly God’s greatest accomplishment in me. My fervent prayers, beliefs, and heart pounding sure as sure can be conviction of my success in my business endeavor was not to be. But along the way I began to really see people. I stopped looking at how I can bring them awesome news of financial freedom and began to see that I need to be bring to them, with the same conviction, the awesome news that they can have soul freedom, enduring and everlasting. Freedom from all the things that ensnare us. Fear, pain, hopelessness, guilt, anger, jealousy, pride, self centeredness, regret, embarrassment, loneliness, anxiety, depression, disappointment, and death. Vast wealth, for me, would not do any good to the many people I would miss getting to know and share life. Yes, I would be able, and I would, give money to many good and wonderful causes and people. But I would not get to just be with them and know them, pray for them, give of my time or energy for them. I would not get to sacrifice for them. It’s easy to give out of plenty. I need to give out out little.
And this is why my God, our God is so real to me. No other god or religion has ever considered that the God of the universe would become like one of His creations, would walk on earth, not as nobility, but a “total fail”. That He would come as a baby, relying on His own fallen creation to care for Him. That he would be born into a young carpenter’s life, that He would lie in a feeding trough for His first bed. That he would be poor, misunderstood, rejected, despised, mocked, teased, abandoned, abused, and hated. This is the ultimate failure of a human being. He is still considered a fail by some. He is a lunatic, a false prophet, never existed, a loser man with loser followers. Jesus-FAIL! And yes, Jesus did come as the ultimate failure for us. He came to let us know, His treasured people, that He knows how we feel. He knows what we think, He knows all about our need to not be a failure. He took all of our fails, (our sins) and burdened Himself with them and took them to the cross where He obediently submitted Himself to His Father as the atoning sacrifice for all fails. And as the perfect God-man Jesus hung there, in utter humiliating failure, with all our filth upon Him, He asks His Father to forgive us. Us.
So in all our triumphs and failures, victories, and defeats ahead of us in 2013 and beyond, I pray you will remember the Victory that is in and through it all! My failures and trials are unique to me, but I am assured I am not alone in suffering. If no one in this world knows them, my God does.
Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:18)