Saturday, March 16, 2013


Unfortunately, it is the word on the tip of my tongue this week. I don't believe for a minute that Lent or life with Jesus is about guilt. Guilt is stifling. And yet, it creeps into me and sits there. And taunts me. And, for the most part, I let it. Until I say, that's enough. Something needs to come in its place.

The week started for me with the birth of a baby. A long expected baby whose arrival I was very excited about. Immediately, I wanted to hold the baby, care for the baby, shower the parents with care and meals and love. Or what I equated with love at the time. It's Saturday, and I have not seen the baby.

Then, I went to a PTA meeting, my second of the year. Why? Because I believe I need to be there, helping, supporting. And I have been doing none of those things. Not only that, I am clueless. I don't know what's going on, and so I'm not much help. But I try.

Then comes an email from Paul's baseball coach. The league has cancelled their game because we (as a team) have failed to produce enough volunteers to run the concession on Saturday morning. It's our responsibility. As a team. Even so, I feel individual guilt. It's a stretch for all of us. But why can't I stretch more and make it possible? I offer help. I try. There is lots of saying, "it's ok" and "you do what you can". It gets covered by someone else. I know that if I don't help in some way by the end of the season, I'll feel more guilt. And I know too that it's not just in my head. Someone will say too, you needed to do this. We needed your help.

And the blog! I'm supposed to post on the blog!

This is hard for me. I know guilt is not the answer.

What good am I doing anyone if I do too much? Something will get dropped. And yet, there is the other voice that says, "you could do more".  Right?

Even now, I am at home while my seven-year old plays his second baseball game of the season. I haven't seen any of any game yet, and I won't today because someone needs to be home with the baby while he naps. Logical, right? I mean I can't be in two places at once. But, couldn't I have figured out a way to make it work? Apparently not.

Reading Noelle's two previous posts, I am reminded of all the life that has gone on while I have felt guilt. Life continues. Things happen. Big things and small things. Changes and moments that I knew nothing about, until now. I am forever grateful and expressing gratitude that in this moment, I got to read those stories and know about them. They remind me of all the things that we all have going on, and how much we are all trying to live into what God has promised: love, grace, mercy, forgiveness.

Where can I go from here? I say, "I'm sorry". Amazingly, that's enough. People accept my apologies! Even my kids, in their wild emotions, accept my apologies when I can't do for them all that they wanted. And then what? I listen. I pray. (thank you Noelle). I listen to what God has to say. I listen to what you have to say. God is working in you and in me and I have much to learn.

Some days, our amazingness will pull off many things at once, with God's help. And other days, I will try and I will fail.  I will lean a little harder on you. I will give thanks for you and I will accept me as I am and what God has enabled me to do today. These are easy words to type. Harder words to live. I welcome all your thoughts because I know that alone, I am guilty. With you, I am forgiven and made new.

1 comment:

  1. I have a really complicated relationship with guilt, Beth. I don't always agree with the folks who find it paralyzing or unhelpful. Sometimes, guilt is really motivating to me, the kind of motivation that works when nothing else can get me moving.
    It DOESN'T work when it is breaking me down or wearing me out. Those times, I rely on forgiveness. From others when I can get it and from God the rest of the time!