Friday, July 22, 2011

Zooming Out (And a "Lessons" Addendum)

This week I took my girls and headed to my parents' house for a visit.  We had a great time.  We went to Blowing Rock and Grandfather Mountain, and spent lots of time with my brother's family (he has 3 kids that are the same ages as mine.)  It was fantastic and long overdue!

One thing I love about visiting my parents is having good conversation.  I enjoy just chatting with them about everything from politics to parenting.  I respect their opinions and I usually learn something new.

Of course, I also took lots of pictures - pictures of my girls, my nieces and nephew, the scenery.

Now, good conversation and photography may seem unrelated, but I put them together in my brain and came up with this analogy.

You see, twice during my visit, my mom casually made a comment or gave me parenting advice that was like a light bulb for me.  Each time, it was a different parenting issue that has been weighing on me and each time I was very thankful for her fresh insight.  It made me realize that parenting is often like taking a picture.    As we all know, if you zoom in too far, you don't get the whole picture in the frame.  Often, though, as parents we are too "zoomed in"  - too caught up in the busy, day-to-day survival of it all - so that we don't can't see the whole picture.  Sometimes, we just need someone else who is a little more "zoomed out" to help us see the whole picture - or, at least, help us focus from a different angle.

I am very fortunate to have many wise, "zoomed out" people in my life - my parents, my in-laws, and great friends.  My wonderful hubby is also very good at this.

A few months ago, I posted Lessons I Want to Teach My Daughters.  In that post, #12 talks about knowing your limitations and not being afraid to ask for help.  I think I might also need to add this one:

#17 - Surround yourself with good people.  You cannot choose your family, but if they bring you joy and peace, embrace them.  Turn to them in times of need or anxiety - big or small - and they will give you the insight and comfort that you need.  You can choose your friends, so choose wisely.  Surround yourself with positive, supportive, intelligent, morally ethical people with whom you share a mutual respect.  Choose friends who see your beauty (inside and out) and who make you a better, happier person by bringing you joy, laughter, insight, and peace.  (Remember, too, that your eventual husband should be your absolute best friend.  If he is not a good friend he will not be a good husband.  He should bring you joy and peace as well as romance and love!)

 That was a pretty round-a-bout way to get to a pretty serious point, but the peace and serenity of visiting with my parents, relaxing, and enjoying a small piece of God's beautiful world always give me a new kind of clarity.  I just hope that peace and clarity will last until my next visit!!

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