Doing the Best We Can

TBC is my extremely wise thirty year old daughter, and she and I were recently comparing notes on my parenting skills and the skills of other parents in terms of how well we parents have taught our children sex education, life skills, etc. Like every parent, I fell short in countless ways and yet TBC is gracious and said, “Mom you did the best you could.” In the course of four years, I had 3 kids, lost both parents, was pastoring a church. It was a lot. And I did the best I could. And it was fine.

Grace abounds, thanks be to God.

This is an excellent article (thanks MTB) about mental health trends in teenage girls and it states – basically – that social media is not helping. We all know people living their best lives on Instagram and their “best” involves perfectly curated vacations and toned abs after eating made-from-scratch empanadas. It’s easy to feel less than.

Consider this from the linked article by Jon Haidt:

By 2015, it was becoming normal for 12-year-old girls to spend hours each day taking selfies, editing selfies, and posting them for friends, enemies, and strangers to comment on, while also spending hours each day scrolling through photos of other girls and fabulously wealthy female celebrities with (seemingly) vastly superior bodies and lives. The hours girls spent each day on Instagram were taken from sleep, exercise, and time with friends and family. What did we think would happen to them?

There seems to be a cultural lack of grace in 2023. Grace for ourselves. Grace for our children. Grace for our parents. Grace for each other.

A young woman I know recently told me that she doesn’t believe in grace. If you hurt her, she is done with you. This feels like a really hard way to live.

Each of us has our own experiences bringing joy, trauma, bitterness, inspiration and deep grief. A treasured friend of mine was literally hit by a car while on a run a few years ago and her body continues to suffer consequences. And yet, she said to me today that everybody has something like being hit by a car. For some it could simply be a really bad broken leg. For others, it could be infertility or betrayal or crushing debt. And everybody’s doing the best they can.

I write a lot about racism, white supremacy, Church World, leadership, things Jesus did and did not die for, growing older, and random other things. Sometimes I get comments that say more about the commenter than me and that’s okay. We are doing the best we can.

To the person who texted me from an unknown number last week that they would bash my face in if they ever met me: I hope you are okay. I don’t know what you need, but I hope you receive it and find peace.

Monday, March 20 is Mr. Rogers Day and read the comments to learn what that is. I’m grateful that he was an instrument of grace in this world. His calm wisdom continues to bring healing and inspiration. Have a wonderful week.

2 responses to “Doing the Best We Can

  1. He certainly was an instrument of grace and peace. A little more about why Mr. Rogers Day in the PCUSA. Fred Rogers was an ordained minister of word and sacrament for the PC(USA) and is a notable public figure whose work around peace and reconciliation are worth remembering. Rogers was also a pioneer in the world of Christian education and formation of young children. March 20th was his birthday and the day that the PC(USA) has chosen to highlight all we can learn from his work. Below are resources.

    Liked by 2 people

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